DCI is an independent non-governmental
organisation set up during the International
Year of the Child (1979) to ensure
on-going, practical, systematic and
concerted international action
specially directed towards
promoting and protecting the
rights of the child.
Project in Child Rights Education and Participation: “We are Protagonists” Financed by the Arigatou Foundation
The Arigatou Foundation is engaged in the defence of child rights, bringing over the importance of ethical education and religious tolerance. Within this objective, Defence for Children International will carry out a project in Ecuador in Paraguay centred in “hands on” child rights education in four communities, where children and adults, families and local authorities will work together to bring measurable improvements to the application of child rights in each community. The project will run from 2004 – 2006.
This project aims at strengthening human rights education and promoting the citizen participation of children at the local level in two Latin American countries. Three are the ways directed to reach the target:
First, a process of awareness building on the children’s human rights, participation and social citizenship with the involved local actors: children and adolescents, parents, mayors, municipal officials, and school employees.
Second, a process for promoting the participation of children and adolescents at the municipal level.
Thirdly, a process of political influence to include the issue of child and adolescent citizenship within the work priorities of local governments.
The component of awareness raising and education on human rights, which will provide education on human rights to work on the acknowledgement of children’s and adolescents’ rights and, particularly, the acknowledgement of their social citizenship, includes various actions:
Awareness raising campaign
Capacity building workshops
Creation of reflection and analysis spaces
Access to media.
The participation component aims at promoting a full exercise of this right and the reflection by children on their social citizenship, for them to assume it, and for other social actors to visualise it. To achieve this objective there is the need to work actively for creating spaces for children and adolescents, either through working groups, permanent meetings, or diagnosis workshops from the children themselves. This effort must be systematic and permanent, since its results and proposals will be submitted to municipal authorities and other public officials. Those results and proposals will be used to elaborate a municipal policy aimed at promoting the children’s and adolescents’ social citizenship.
This component’s actions include:
Promoting the participation of children and adolescents in existing political spaces and the construction of new spaces of their own.
Elaborating work proposals by children and adolescents for their benefit, to be submitted to local and national governmental bodies.
Implementing self-training workshops on topics selected by the children and adolescents themselves, to strengthen a full exercise of their rights.
Creating “Groups for Protecting Children and Adolescents”.
Designing a consultative process elaborated and executed by the children and adolescents themselves to collect opinions and proposals from under-age people in every community and thus improve their conditions of life.
Implementing a democratic process for electing child and adolescent representatives charged with submitting proposals to municipal authorities.
Elaborating, validating, and signing an Understanding Chart between children and adolescents and the municipal authorities.
The political influence component aims at the creation of a “Commission on Children and Adolescents” within the municipal institutional structure, and the establishment of Local Inter-institutional and Inter-sector Networks that will give continuity and sustainability to the process. In order to achieve this, the actions will include the following interrelated processes:
Analysis and study of the work plans of mayors, the municipal bodies’ operative plans, and the vision-mission of municipal institutions to identify the parts in which this project’s objectives may be linked to those of the municipal institutions.
Lobbying process with decision-takers to achieve the purpose of incorporating a promotion of child and adolescent citizenship in the municipality’s work and the creation of a “Commission on Children and Adolescents”.
Signature of Commitment Charts with municipal authorities, validated in consultations with children and adolescents, for establishing the new Commissions on Children and Adolescents.
Strengthening and capacitation of the Local Networks existing in every community, and the creation of them where they do not exit, since they will continue the process began during the project’s implementation.