November 20th 2009 is the commemoration date of the signature of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child signed in 1989. Next November will be the 20th anniversary.
Members of Associations including Amnesty International, UNICEF, Handicap International, Global March Against Child Labour have teamed up with local French Associations: Au Fil de l’Enfance, Groupement pour l’Intégration Scolaire des Enfants Handicapés, Infosectes Midi-Pyrénées, La Maison des Droits de l’Enfant, Le Cri, SALEM, Virlanie…to work together).
One or two weeks events have been organised every year since 2005 in Toulouse (South of France. This 20th of November’s theme is Rights and Duties for the children, and emphasis is given to EDUCATION. It consists of exhibitions, conferences and debates, visits of school children with active participation so as to try and make children and parents conscious of the huge problem of children suffering from limited rights or even no rights at all.
Activities conducted November 2008 were very successful in two major actions :
An exhibition visited by 660 children under 13 (35 classes). The theme developped this year was “Children from here and abroad : Rights and Education”. They had to answer various questions and finally write a paper gathering some information about child labour and difficulties they had caught through the exhibition. A newspaper was finally issued at the end and dispatched amongst the schools.
A debate on the subject : “Protection yes, but from what? And how far?” prepared with children from 14 and 18, and managed by the COFRADE (an organisation responsible for checking at national level the respect of the child’s rights). A final debate with participants coming from various places of France took place beginning of December in Paris at the National Assembly of Deputies.
INVITED TO JOIN IN OUR 2009 ACTION
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signature Convention on the Rights of the Child, we want 2009 to be an even more larger campaign and reach different countries of the world. YOU CAN JOIN AND HELP US
Global March France planned to follow a similar process:
Involving school children from 8 to 13 with their teachers to visit our exhibition at Toulouse. The global theme this year will be : “Children from here and abroad : the rights to grow up”
Focussing on :
- Family, nationality, registration
- Liberty of expression/discussion
Organising together with COFRADE a national initiative involving 14 to 18 years old children. The theme this year will be “Why is education a Right”
Participants will debate in various places in France and a final debate will conclude this initiative in December 2009 through a meeting planned in Paris at UNESCO.
What could be your added value to this process?
Bring to French school children and also to us your views and feelings on the theme:“The Rights to Grow Up”mentioned before.
Each nation is clearly marked by its own history, its political, and its social and religious situations. Each nation has its own way of managing its child policy and we would like to learn from you, children from Asian nations, African nations, South and North American nations as well as from Eastern European nations how you see your environment, how it could be improved and possibly how together we could succeed in this global improvement.
What we would like to get from you is a written short analysis of your situation and your suggestions on the matter. Then we will put it on a map of the world according to the places display it in November exhibition. It will certainly be very helpful to the French children in understanding what the situation and the problems are “elsewhere”.
We will dispatch it to all the participants after the event. We commit ourselves to send back to you the results of this initiative.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR OPERATIONAL PARTICIPATION
What could be the various domains of discussion and associated questions:
- Does a document showing the traceability of the health of the child exist?
- What needs a child to grow up?
- Is water necessary to child life? can any child in the world have access to water?
- Do all children in the world have the food they need to grow up?
- If not, what is the consequence on their health?
REGISTRATION, FAMILY, NATIONALITY
- Are all children registered when they come into the world?
- How is his identity defined?
- What does the family brings to the child?
- is school compulsory everywhere in the world?
- in your country, what are the ages during which school is compulsory??
- Why children don’t go to school?
- what are the risks for a child?
- can a child ask for help?
- more than 200 millions of children are at work in the world : how is the situation in your country?
- Can children speak openly of their situation?
- How can they communicate? With whom?
- Are there limits to their capability of communicating?
What conditions are needed to get a child growing up in good conditions?
NOTA : this list of questions is proposed only to help the dialogue between children and their responsible (teachers, social workers…). It must be adapted to the various conditions of life existing over the world. It can also be completed by other analysis and questions specific to each country.