The NGO Committee and Department of Public Information celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The briefing opened with Mr. Jennifer Tang outlining three articles detailed the rights of the child which were to respect for the views of the child, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to free association.
Ms. Formsma represented children who are indigenous by saying, “Often the participation and voices of indigenous children is not being heard; in developed countries, some indigenous children live in third-world conditions” She also stated how we must listen to young people because they know and understand what their community needs; they just need the support and resources to help develop the needs of the community. Chenor Bah told a story about his personal experience of being involved in the war of Sierra Leone; he became a refuge and thought to himself during all of the hardship, “This is not right; children should have a voice in this war.”
Dr. Flores revealed data about a survey taken children and adults throughout the world. The results revealed issues that matter most to children and their families: good education, better healthcare, better job opportunities, an honest and responsive government, protections against crime and violence, and phone and internet access. Dr. Flores outlined a few principles of democratic participation for children: power in relationships and decision making process must be transparent and understood by children; children should be involved in the initial stages of any process or project; all children should be treated with equal respect; demonstrate to children that they are being heard by actively listening; provide encouragement so children will speak, participate, and learn to make decisions.
Meeting: DPI/NGO Briefing: Have you heard us? Children’s Voices in Creating a World Fit for ALL: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights and the Department of Public Information
Date/Location: November 20, 2014; 11:00-12:45; Conference Room 1
Speakers: Ravi Karkara, Global Expert Advisor; Children and Youth with UN-Habitat and Advisor to the UN Millennium Campaign on Child and Youth Engagement; Therese Folkers Plair, Co-Chair; NGO Committee on Children’s Rights; opening song by Young at Arts – Amani Choir; Jennifer Tang, Research Associate, Children’s Environments Research Group; Jocelyn Formsma, Indigenous Child Rights Advocate; Public School 333 Manhattan, 4th – 5th Graders; Chernor Bah, Co-founder and Youth Engagement Coordinator, A World at School; Dr. Roseanne Flores, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Hunder College of the City University of New York; Kaylee Beree Weinberg, Ramapough Lenape Student Speaker; closing song by Carrie E Tomplins, Elementary School
Written By WIT Representative: Eman Osagie
Edited By WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon