A huge priority for the Union of Societies “Our Children” Croatia is promoting and upholding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. As such, we work to devise projects and activities for children and adults alike, all centering around child participation. Our aim is simple: to make adults understand the importance of respecting children’s opinions, and ensuring their active participation in the local community.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child lists several different aspects of children’s right to participation:
– the right to express their views freely in matters that affect them,
– freedom of expression, and the freedom to seek, receive and impart information,
– freedom of thought,
– freedom of association,
the right to active participation in the community.
The benefits of child participation are manifold – not just for children, but for adults and the community as a whole.
You can read more about strengthening child participation here.
For children, participation:
– builds their confidence, and gives them a sense of importance,
– develops social and communication skills, and methods of conflict resolution,
– teaches children how to speak in public, and in front of adults.
For adults, child participation:
– develops sensitivity to and respect for a child’s points of view,
– leads to greater tolerance, understanding and respect for children,
– strengthens the exchange of ideas between generations.
In terms of benefit to the wider community, child participation:
– raises public awareness of children’s views and needs,
– strengthens democracy and the development of civil society,
– builds trust between children and adults.
We promote two key forms of child participation in the local community: Children’s Forums and Children’s Councils.