A Parisian Charter for Children's Day
Following the successful collaboration with Child Rights in Action for the 30 years anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child [UNCRC], the City of Paris wished to renew this partnership for 2020 Universal Children’s Day. The project was an ambitious one: to create a Parisian Charter of Children Rights.
A Charter to realise the Convention on the Rights of the Child Plan
The UNCRC endorses a deep cultural change in the way we view children, their place, and their rights. Participation is a fundamental right inscribed in the CRC which allows the enhancement of children in various situation, and most of all permits them their own decision-making concerning what is at stake in their life and environment. It was therefore impossible for the deputy mayor of Paris and ex-Defensor of the Rights of the Child, Dominique Versini, to elaborate a Charter of Children Rights without invoking the children in question.
A Charter meeting children’s wants and needs as closely as possible
Close to 150 children coming from all Parisian arrondissements and from all social backgrounds gathered in October and November to discuss the condition of their rights, society issues concerning them and, last but not least, to identify their needs.
To this effect the children worked in two cycle/period of time. The first step was for children to become aware of issues particularly important to them, topics they hoped to change for the better, and what solutions they could propose with that in mind. The result of this preliminary work was divided up into five pillars: protection, participation, wellbeing and environment, handicap, and equity. Next session, each child worked on a pillar in particular, selected a proposition made the session before and worked in group to expand on it further. Once this important mission accomplished, the proposals were sent to the cabinet of Madame Versini who strove to write the Charter while keeping the wording of children. This Charter will be presented all year long to the children of Paris as part of a campaign to raise awareness of their rights to children and allow them to give their opinion.
The children participating in the event highlighted how important it was for them to feel listened to and expressed their joy to be able to speak “to people who hear us out and who take us seriously”.
The Parisian Charter of Children Rights has been signed by the Mayor of Paris. It will be circulated by the Young Volunteers for Children Rights to thousands of children during their mission. In this way, 100 children created the Charter, and 1000 others will either approve or amend it in the year 2021, and its evaluation will be presented the 20th of November 2021.