Children on sexting | HINTALOVON

Children on sexting

As a response to the Council of Europe questionnaire, our Child Rights Ambassadors prepared a video about the information they receive on online safety and sharing sexual contents. Their video was submitted to the monitoring body of the Lanzarote Convention on 30 September, 2018. The Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Convention on Protecting Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse came into force in Hungary in 2015. The Lanzarote Committee send out thematic questionnaires in rounds and seeks and values the views of children about the prevention of sexual violence, and their protection. Our former Child Rights Ambassador, Sára Csabai tells about their participation in the 2nd monitoring round and introduces their video.

We are child rights ambassadors, volunteers for the Hintalovon Foundation. There are 10 of us, 7 boys and 3 girls, aged 14 to 18, who share a deep interest in the rights of children. We are from various walks of life, our backgrounds, age, personality all differ, nonetheless, we are able to cooperate well as a team. There is one thing common in all of us, our strong sense of justice which is why we decided to stand up for our rights. We have been working together since August, 2017. Our participation in the Hintalovon Foundation centres around familiarising ourselves with our rights and learn how to exercise them and advocate for them.

The idea to participate in the monitoring of the Lanzarote Convention was initiated by our program managers. We were eager to do so for two reasons. Firstly, it was nice to hear that our experience matter and we can express our views and advocate for our rights. Secondly, we all know way too many stories about sharing sexually explicit photos and we are willing to learn more about and do more for our online safety.

It all began with one specific Saturday (March 3rd) when we were discussing the issue of online safety for hours. We expressed our opinions and shared stories where someone had been the victim of online abuse or cyberbullying. This proved to be a challenge for us, as everyone uses the internet and thus, has their own opinion on it. We spent a lot of time going through our experiences at school and talking about our rights in case of an abuse. It has greatly helped us form our own opinion on what we would require for safe use of the web.

On 28th April we spent over five hours figuring out the concept of our project and to find common grounds for our message. We worked primarily following the questions given by the Council of Europe, assisted by our mentors. We split the topics among each other for individual preparation. We dug into our own, then after summarising and highlighting the gist of it, we started discussing. We got off to a bumpy start, as everyone had to present their own opinion first, to be followed by the joint discussion. The difficult part came after talking through the topics. How are we supposed to present all the relevant information clearly and concisely? A number of ideas popped up. Should we write a long essay, deliver a presentation or opt for a drawing? So many ideas, so little time. Thus, we decided to come up with a few concise and straightforward sentences that sum up our main points. Phrasing these sentences took us the longest. It was challenging to produce a clear, nevertheless, not overly simple text. We managed to come through in the end. After finishing these sentences, we returned to brainstorming on how to present the message. One of the group members suggested to make a video, an idea that proved to be the best. The goal was to make a video where our sentences are presented before abasic, animated background; a straightforward yet attention grasping way of forwarding/communicating our experiences. Having agreed upon the idea, we added the final touch to our message. We translated the text with the help of our mentor team, while the video (itself) has been the work of our mate, from whom the idea originally derived.

We are grateful for having the opportunity to participate in such a grand initiative. We feel that it has been an outstandingly exciting project this year, but more importantly, we hope that our contribution can help your work to monitor the situation in Hungary.

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