The Children’s Forum is children’s activity in their free time for acquainting children with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The key areas of the programme includes the right to express their thoughts freely, their freedom to seek, receive and impart information, for freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to rest, leisure and play.
The Children’s Forum:
– acquaints children with the rights of the child,
– spreads the concepts of peace, tolerance and cooperation,
– passes children’s appeals on to adults,
– nurtures democratic behaviour, and a capacity for democratic action.
Structure and Activities:
– aimed at children aged 9 to 14,
– anyone is free to join, and can stop attending whenever they want,
– all forums resolve around group activities for children, which take place in groups of around 20-25 boys and girls,
– they meet two to four times in one month,
– meeting usually lasts for 1-2 hours,
– and should provide suitable space and equipment for children.
Some of the most common forum activities include:
– discussions and workshops about children’s rights,
– working groups on the topics of peace, tolerance and cooperation,
– writing ‘children’s appeals’ to adults,
– festive programmes of events for special occasions,
– exhibitions, quizzes, shows, public speaking and public performances,
– writing to pen-pals from around the world,
– creating noticeboards with news from these pen-pals,
– cooperation with other Children’s Forums, and preparation for the Annual Croatian Children’s Forum Summit.
The Union’s role in running the Children’s forums
For children’s rights, peace, tolerance and non-violence, the Union has started in 1992. new child activity for children’s free time and named it ‘Children’s forums’, with goal to acknowledge children with their rights, and for raising the children for peace, mutual understanding and cooperation. The value of this new activity for and with children, was met by Radda Barnen organization from Sweden, which helped financially to Forums in their beginnings, and enabled their development.
From beginnings to today, The Union constantly organizes educations for supervisors/mentors of the Childrens’s forums, annually meetings (until today 16 meetings has been provided), and thematic sessions of representative children of Children’s forums and representatives from Croatian Parliament.
Thanks to the activities of the Union, currently in Croatia acts 70 and more Children’s forums, and this number increases every year. Annualy through workshops and activites of Children’s forum passes more than 1000 children, which is more then 20 000 children through the 20 years of work.
If you want to start Children’s forum in your city or community, you can contact your basic Society ‘Our children’, or to the Union of Societes ‘Our Children’ where you will get all necessary informations for principles of how forums work!