NGO for Children's rights - Festival "Voice to Children" - Enfants du Monde NGO for Children's rights - Festival "Voice to Children" - Enfants du Monde

Festival “Voice to Children”

In 2023

267

students took part in the Festival and spoke out about their rights

12

schools have used our teaching materials to raise awareness among their pupils

1

goodwill Ambassador, Patrick Chappatte, has led a series of workshops

Celebrating International Children’s Rights Day

International Children’s Rights Day marks the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Children. To mark the occasion, Enfants du Monde organizes the annual Voice to children Festival in Geneva.

Meaningful children participation

The Festival offers a space for children to express themselves through the A Fairer World project on children’s rights.

With the support of Swiss personalities such as press cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and artist Licia Chery, Enfants du Monde invites school children from French-speaking Switzerland to express themselves and be heard on their rights. Song, drawing, photo, storytelling: several means of expression are mobilized to enable children to share their recommendations on the respect for their rights with representatives of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Geneva authorities, NGOs and the local press.

The festival « Voice to Children » in 2022

To mark International Children’s Rights Day, Enfants du Monde invited schoolchildren aged 8 to 12 to plead their rights to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child during the “Voice to Children” festival on November 18 at the Maison Internationale des Associations.

A festival for children to express their rights.

Since September, the schoolchildren present have been working in depth with their teachers on children’s rights, using the Enfants du Monde educational kit, and have prepared recommendations to improve respect for a right of their choice. During the festival, they took part in a workshop with cartoonist Patrick Chappatte to illustrate these recommendations through press cartoons. They then presented their thoughts and creations to Professor Philip Jaffé, Swiss member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Christina Kitsos, Administrative Councillor of the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity of the City of Geneva, the Secretary General of Enfants du Monde, Beata Godenzi, as well as representatives of the Department of Public Education, the Geneva Federation of Cooperation and other organizations.

The right to play was one of the most popular rights.

The students also sang the song “On n’a pas 20 ans” by Licia Chery, singer, author and TV host, dedicated to the event and written for the occasion.

Discover below their recommendations.

“We noticed that some children cannot have leisure because they don’t have enough money and so we proposed that it be free. We think we can do as a school but recreation.”

Students of the Confignon school

In response to this proposal, Christina Kitsos informed the children that reflections are underway to close some streets in Geneva in order to offer more space for children to play outside.

Some of the children’s concerns emerged in the reference to the right to protection, such as fear of being “stolen” (kidnapped) or child labour.

“We need to raise awareness about the products they buy and what lies behind them. Switzerland prohibits child labour, but it buys products elsewhere in the world, which make children work. We don’t necessarily know that.”

Students of the Mon-Repos school, Lausanne

Another very important right for students is to be cared for. To imagine that children could not get proper treatment because of lack of money seemed very unfair to them.

“ We do not agree that there are children who have more money and others who do not have enough money to pay for care. So our recommendation is to put care trailers in schools like the dental booth, ophthalmologist and nurse”

Students of the Ecole des Compesières, Geneva.

And perhaps most unexpectedly, the right to go to school emerged as indispensable in the eyes of children, so that everyone can learn to read and write. The students were able to discuss this with Professor Philip Jaffé.

“Everyone needs to know that children need to learn to read and write. Having a good education respects others.”

Students of the School of Franchises, Geneva

The festival is the culmination of Children of the World’s “a Fairer World” programme in schools to help improve the situation of children’s rights in its countries of intervention. This program invites students to discover their rights in relation to their social and cultural context. It encourages children to propose concrete solutions to improve respect for their rights while raising awareness among politicians and the public. This approach is part of a sustainable development education perspective, which makes it possible to take into account broader issues.

Sarah Student, Switzerland

Children’s rights protect children from what is not good for them. They are all important and should all be respected everywhere.

Participate in the project

You are a teacher and would like to receive more information and/or have your class participate in the next edition of the Fairer World programme? Contact our team by email at umj@edm.ch.

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