This publication, produced by the NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child, describes the child participation work of seven organizations that occasionally, on a project basis or within the framework of a separate program, ensure that children’s voices are taken into account in their professional work.
Within the framework of the NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child, civil organizations and professionals, who involve children in their work or want to give more space to children’s opinions, met monthly between September 2022 and June 2023. The meetings, coordinated by the Hintalovon Foundation, aimed to allow organizations to share their experiences and learn from each other. This publication is the result of the professional forum’s first year of work, in which seven organizations give an insight into their joint work with children.
The publication introduces the joint work with children of the following organizations: Hintalovon Child Rights Foundation, Kék Vonal Children’s Crisis Foundation, UNICEF Hungarian Committee Foundation, SOS Children’s Village Hungarian Foundation, the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SINOSZ), Háttér Society, and InDaHouse Hungary Association.
They introduce the children and young people who are involved in their work, as well as their role in the organization and their achievements together. The overview reveals that every organization has a different approach to best achieving its goals, and that once openness to children’s voices has been established, their role is becoming increasingly complex.
Each organization has built in several safety measures to ensure that children’s participation is safe and meaningful, and more and more organizations have child protection policies to regulate this participation.
The unanimous experience of the organizations is that direct contact with children and their involvement in professional issues have brought a qualitative change to their work. It has had an impact on the direction and content of their activities as well as the attitude of their staff.
Some of the organizations aimed to help children participate beyond the organization. Therefore, the publication also describes activities which try to change the children’s own environment or societal attitudes.
Some of the presenting organizations already have a near decade-long tradition of children’s participation, while others intend to put more emphasis on it now. Recent meetings of the Child Participation Working Group have filled a gap by providing a valuable opportunity for all to discuss methodological issues.
The Coalition hopes that the presented practices will inspire others to involve children and share their good practices as well.
Image from here.