Children and Young People’s Preparatory Forum For the International Launch of the UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children

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Summary: The Preparatory Forum helped children and young people to prepare for their participation in the International Launch of the UN Study on Violence against Children which was held on 11 October 2006 in New York, as well as in the various side events which supported and accompanied the launch.

The Preparatory Forum brought together 21 children and young people from around the world. These children had been active participants in the Regional Consultations held in 2005 as part of the Study, and had been selected through diverse participatory processes in their different regions and countries.

Children and young people represented 18 countries, namely, Canada, China, East Timor, Ethiopia, India, Jamaica, Lesotho, Maldives, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, Philippines, Romania, Senegal, Slovenia, Venezuela, Yemen and Zambia.

The Preparatory Forum helped children and young people to prepare for their participation in the International Launch of the UN Study on Violence against Children which was held on 11 October 2006 in New York, as well as in the various side events which supported and accompanied the launch.

The Forum used participatory exercises and group discussion techniques to help children express their opinions and experiences and shape their participation in the International Launch as they saw fit.

In particular, the Forum helped children and young people participating in the launch to:

  • Further explore the issues covered in the UN Study and become familiar with the Study’s recommendations.
  • Prioritise the issues children and young people wished to raise and highlight at the International Launch.
  • Support a process in which children could shape the opportunities for their participation that were available during the International Launch but which also recognise the constraints imposed by a formal UN process.
  • Identify and assign roles and responsibilities for each participant during the International Launch.
  • Provide support for children’s involvement in media activities and features.

On Day One, children and young people went through a process of exercises to get familiar with each other and with the key aspects of the UN Study. The children and young people were provided with an overview of the International Launch and its side events.

To prepare in more detail for the International Launch the children and young people divided themselves into three committees based on the events during the week, namely,

1. Speech to the Third Committee (UN General Assembly, 11th October) and Evening Reception hosted by the governments of Germany, Finland, Sweden and Uruguay at the German Mission (12th October)
2. Roundtable discussion at Labouisse Hall (12th October)
3. Launch of the child friendly materials at UNICEF House (12th October)

On Day Two, children worked in their chosen committees to plan the events. Media training was also provided which helped children and young people to prepare key messages for the press. Children were able to practice being confident spokespeople for the UN Study.

On Day Three, children and young people prepared selection procedures for their participation and fair representation in the various events around the launch and continued to refine their presentations for these events.

On Day Four, children and young people visited the UN building and became familiar with UN processes and procedures. In the afternoon they all participated in the international launch by attending the 3rd Committee of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly. One of their representatives made a speech to the 3rd Committee on behalf of the other young participants.

On Day Five, the children played an important role in the roundtable discussion and took centre stage during the launch of the child friendly materials where the UN Secretary-General - Kofi Annan - made a special and surprise appearance.

Further information

Owner: Neha Bhandari with Clare Feinsteinpdf: http://www.crin.org/docs/prep forum final draft.doc

Countries

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