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“ I can help bring peace in Northern Uganda if only my views are heard and acted upon. I don’t hold a gun anymore; I hold the power of my voice.
When visitors come to see us in the centers they normally ask us about our experiences and how we managed to escape… But, they should also be asking us how we can participate in the peace process ourselves because we also fought in the war.”
International research and evaluation, covering 4 countries
Have a holistic understanding of peace
Identify all factors involved in conflict
Are able to connect individual and collective aspects
Identify key stakeholders
Know their own situation best
Adult’s War and Young Generation’s Peace (cont.)
Key adult institutions and actors should undertake increased efforts to ensure children’s rights and children’s voices are included in peace processes, peace agreements, and other political processes affecting children.
Key adult institutions and actors should undertake more systematic efforts to promote and support meaningful, sustainable children’s participation processes, including support to child led peace initiatives, and child led organisations.
We want more support and care for the excluded and forgotten.
We just want to be children.
We want to participate.
What is the UN Convention on the rights of the child?
A Holistic Framework covering Economic/Social/Cultural, and Political/Civil Rights … more “complete” than any other human rights instrument
Defines rights that cut across cultural, religious and other frontiers
Almost Universal Ratification … 192/194 … the most of any Human Rights Instrument, highly “legitimising”
Why a UN Convention on the rights of the child?
Children not always accepted as holders of rights and actors in their own lives – sometimes as “possessions” of parents or communities
Children have specific needs relating to their childhoods in contrast to adults … the special nature of childhood recognised in the UDHR, children’s evolving capacities in UNCRC
Children, being “voiceless” have been relatively “invisible”
Children often do not have the capacity to protect themselves, from abuse, from exploitation
Children’s rights were “scattered” over other HR instruments
Categories of Children’s rights Survival Rights : - rights to life, and needs basic to a child’s existence Development Rights : - things children need to achieve their full potential Protection Rights : safeguards children are entitled to against all forms of neglect, abuse, exploitation Participation Rights: rights that allow children to take part in affairs that affect their lives Accountability : rights that allow children to know that their rights are being fulfilled
Sees children (especially small children) as passive, vulnerable and helpless,
Views adults as the norm and sees childhood as a period of becoming, (of being in transition to adulthood)
Holds that adults “know” and assume what is best for children
Follows “trickle down theory” implying that children benefit automatically from benefits that reach their families
Bases models of children and childhood in development projects on social science research based on “Western” centred development psychology and pedagogy
Tends to overlook gender and other dimensions (class, disability, ethnicity, etc.)
Emphasises children's needs rather than children's rights
Participation: life cycle Systematic and structural oppression based on the dominant ideology . From the moment we are born, ideology influences all the institutions we come into contact with. (E.g. violence or non-participation) As adults, we build up a set of generalized beliefs. Based on these interpretations, we DISCRIMINATE when we act out these beliefs. They are then passed on to the next generation. (Do not recognize participation as a key social value thus it is not transmitted to the next or current generation) As young people, we look around us and see many things happening that replicate our personal experiences, giving rise to STEREOTYPES through practicing of adult behaviors and discriminatory behaviour by adults (practicing of peer violence/humiliation etc. and non- participation of children in family, schools, community etc. As children we experience the world through social institutions – our individual personal experience gives rise to PREJUDICE through practicing of adult behaviors (E.g. violent/aggressive means seen as methods to resolve conflict or similarly lack of child participation in families/communities/etc.) As old people, we tend to reinforce the same stereotypes and bias behaviors back into the society Individual acts create and maintain
make decisions in which children’s best interests are a primary consideration ensure the survival and development to maximum extent possible avoid discrimination that threatens the realisation of rights consider children’s informed views and opinions in decision making ACCOUNTABILITY Survival And Development Best interests Non-discrimination Participation CRC /CRP Principles
“ Three Pillars” Programming Practical Actions on Violations and Gaps in Provision Strengthening Structures and Mechanisms Building Constituencies of support CHILD RIGHTS SITUATION ANALYSIS