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  • 1. UNOY Summer school 2009 Children’s rights at stake: participation of children and young people in peacebuilding
  • 2. Session outline
    • Impact of armed conflict on children and young people
    • Connecting the Culture of Peace with Children’s rights: Participation
    • Case Uganda: Participation - How do children and young people contribute to peace?
  • 3. Debate
    • Statement
    • Adults are more able to contribute to peace than children and young people.
  • 4. 1. Impact on children and young people
  • 5. Machel Review
    • 33 countries / territories
    • 1 billion children < 18 affected
    • 300 million < 5
    • 6 million refugee children
    • 9 million internally displaced children
    • Machel Review Study video
  • 6. Quote
    • “ Whoever wins the war, children are always the losers and their lost childhood never comes back.”
  • 7. Quote
    • “ 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.”
  • 8. Six ‘gravest’ violations
    • UN Resolution 1612
    • Killing and maiming of children
    • Recruiting and using children
    • Attacks on schools and hospitals
    • Rape and other forms of sexual violence
    • Abduction
    • Denying humanitarian access
  • 9. Northern Uganda conflict: Impact on Children’s rights
  • 10. Affected populations pyramid
    • From IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings
    • Psycho trauma, PTSD
    • Resilient individuals
    Specialised services Focused, non-specialised supports Community and family supports Basic services and security
  • 11. Machel Review
    • Strategic review of Graca Machel study: Impact of Armed Conflict on Children (1996)
    • “ Although we have made advances, especially in developing a solid framework of norms and standards, much more must be done to ensure compliance, to fight impunity and to protect children’s rights.”
  • 12. Machel Review (cont.)
    • All peacemaking and peacebuilding processes should be child-sensitive, including through
    • specific provisions in peace agreements,
    • the participation of children in those processes and
    • the prioritization of resources
  • 13. Adult’s War and Young Generation’s Peace
    • International research and evaluation, covering 4 countries
    • Children
    • 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
  • 14. Adult’s War and Young Generation’s Peace (cont.)
    • Recommendation One:
    • 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.
    • Recommendation Two:
    • 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.
  • 15. Seen, but Not Heard
    • The reality is that children, their families, and their communities are first to be impacted by a lack of security.
    • Children and youth may be seen everywhere, but they remain largely invisible on the security agenda.
    • And although the children and youth of today are tomorrow’s leaders, their voices are generally not heard.
  • 16. Seen, but Not Heard (cont.)
    • Children are active agents in their own lives and in their own development, with positive contributions to make, whether to post-conflict peacebuilding or tackling street violence.
    • Their energy, enthusiasm and creativity needs to be harnessed and tapped for the positive contribution that they can make to society.
  • 17. 2. Connecting the Culture of peace with Children’s rights
    • Theory
    • Programming practice
  • 18. How do children and young people contribute to peace? What could you think of?
  • 19. Culture of Peace and Children’s rights
    • Knowledge
      • Learn to know
    • Values
      • Learn to be
    • Skills
      • Learn to live together
    • Action
      • Learn to do
    • Awareness
      • Children have rights
    • Beliefs
      • Children are actors
    • Practices
      • Children can participate
    • Systems
      • Children’s best interests are considered
  • 20. Machel Review “Youth demand action”
    • We want our rights to be respected.
    • We want justice and to be safe from violence.
    • We want to learn.
    • We want to be healthy.
    • We want jobs and a means to survive.
    • We want more support and care for the excluded and forgotten.
    • We just want to be children.
    • We want to participate.
  • 21. What is the UN Convention on the rights of the child?
    • 1989/1990
    • 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”
  • 22. 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
  • 23. 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
  • 24. Common perspective on children
    • 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
  • 25. 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
  • 26. A rights based development approach
  • 27. 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
  • 28. “ Three Pillars” Programming Practical Actions on Violations and Gaps in Provision Strengthening Structures and Mechanisms Building Constituencies of support CHILD RIGHTS SITUATION ANALYSIS
  • 29. Practice standards Participation
    • Standard 1: An ethical approach: transparency, honesty and accountability
    • Standard 2: Children’s participation is relevant and voluntary
    • Standard 3: A child-friendly, enabling environment
    • Standard 4: Equality of opportunity
    • Standard 5: Staff is effective and confident
    • Standard 6: Participation promotes the safety and protection of children
    • Standard 7: Ensuring follow-up and evaluation
  • 30. Activities by children and young people
  • 31. Example: Uganda peace talks 2005 / Juba
    • “ Recognize and consider the experiences, views and concerns of children.”
    • “ Protect the dignity, privacy and security of children in any accountability and reconciliation proceedings.”
    • “ Ensure that children are not subjected to criminal justice proceedings, but may participate in reconciliation processes.”
    • “ Encourage and facilitate the participation of children in the processes for implementing this agreement.”
  • 32. 3. Case Uganda: Participation - How do children and young people contribute to peace?
  • 33. War Child in Uganda, examples of children and young people’s contributions to peace
  • 34.
    • Clubs
    • Parliament / debates
    • Cultural events
  • 35.
    • Publications / Radio Broadcasting
    • Exhibitions
    • Peace Camps (exchange)
  • 36. Inter-parish (village) sport tournaments Performing 4 Peace ICT 4 Peace
  • 37. Sources
    • UN - Machel+10 Report: http://www.un.org/children/conflict/_download/msr2_en.pdf
    • DCAF - Seen, but Not Heard: http://www.dcaf.ch/publications/kms/details.cfm?lng=en&id=95946&nav1=5
    • SCN – Adult’s war, Young Generation’s Peace: https://www.reddbarna.no/default.asp?V_ITEM_ID=19028