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On the rights of Children

Submitted by Claude Beaunis on 14/01/15 – 21:17




On the rights of children

The boys and girls of the world belongs to everyone
A further consideration coming after the 2014 Ridef  is the project to build, using many hands and many voices, an updated 'manifesto'  with information and promotion concerning the children's rights.
A text to be transmitted to NGOs, voluntary associations, governments, guarantors of childhood, local governments, schools, accompanied by the  postcard produced with the book 'We must not remain silent', regarding  thousand violations, large and small of children's rights.
The recent report by Save the Children on the living conditions of children contains alarming data on how, even in Italy, material poverty and educational poverty are interrelated and constitute a vicious circle.
We experience every day, in addition to rights violations, lack of interest, knowledge, investment in the world of adults linked to children. We see how, in the south, but also in the north of the world, the rights of expression, listening, speaking, of involvement in the choices, the actions of 'empowerment' of the boys are disregarded or applied almost casually for a  generous recognition.
Who takes care  actually of  these rights? By what means? In which places ? Who  recognize and authorize them?
Some examples. In a Municipality the administration calls elections for the Council of Girls and Boys (giving effect to the right to democratic participation recognized by the Convention) and sends its information to the families and the school, then calls elections, which will take place at school, on a chosen day. Some teachers ignore the invitation, do not give the information, do not distribute the materials, deprive them of an important opportunity .
In another municipality it  is decided the expulsion of some families of 'illegal'. Social services separates  children from their parents  removing them from the attended  schools and placing them in host communities to repatriation.
In Veneto a sneaky complementary regional legislation on the 'right to education' (sigh) does not allow those who attend primary school in a municipality without being resident to get the  free libraries coupons for textbooks. The family should contact the town of origin. The enlightened legislators think, perhaps, to penalize only foreign families (and already it would be very serious) but exclude, in fact, even children of women in situations of protection, children in foster care or adoption, and in other situations: because the forms of restricted  categorization are always used to discriminate.
We could quote many other examples even more alarming and with oppressor effects , as the case of children in Rome who are prevented from going to school.
These are just examples, but in these cases (violations of the right to education, preservation and protection, ..) in both large cities and small towns,  who can speak and act in defense of minors? Who can act quickly bypassing procedural rigidities, the inefficiency of the services, red tape? And in cases of gross violations even more serious (failures, evasions, exploitation, ...)?
A confirmed solution sees the creation of networks of solidarity and the definition of institutional protocols of emergency,  following   a guide that collects the  voice of vulnerable people, which breaks with the categorizations and affirms a common feeling about the care and culture of childhood, beyond the fences and families because, as stated in the book mentioned, “The boys and girls of the world belongs to everyone”

The contribution of Ridef

Many stimuli have emerged from various activities during Ridef: for example the intervention of Mauro Palma recalled many situations of childhood without rights (prison, detention centers, camps, ...); then the interventions  of Jean Le Gal, of Vilson Groh, Teresita Garduño, Marifé Santiago Bolaños, Francesco Tonucci ...
In the " children workshop", on the basis of the observation of the animators following the interactions and expressions of children during activities,    it came out a list of interesting rights.
1.      The right to have time to do what you want and when you want
2.      The right to work with our own rhythm
3.      The right to not be obliged to show about ourselves
4.      The right to stay alone
5.      The right to be accepted as we are
6.      The right to hide ourselves
7.      The right to explore the boundaries of danger
8.      The right to not be judged for what we think
9.      The right to speak in our languages
10. The right to share , to make a gift, to exchange something.
11. The right to offer an alternative
12. The right to try and to build
13. The right to stay with people that reassure you
14.  The right to express our fear
15. The right to be dirty
16. The right to be upset
17. The right to rely to other people
18. The right to a white paper
We  intends to obtain, from this and other contributions collected at the  Ridef, a text guide to accompany the voice of children and young people, that we think would be a tool to be spread  in the movements of the FIMEM and in all those places we think it could be necessary..
It is therefore an open proposal to the contributions and suggestions of those who will work in schools and associations.


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