Kids Got Rights! was a two-year project led by IFM-SEI and funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2022). The project brings together young people from 7 organisations across Europe. Our partner organisations in the project are Nuorten Kotkien Keskusliitto (NKK, Finland), Arciragazzi (Italy), Esplais Catalans (ESPLAC, Spain), University of Barcelona (UB, Research Group on Moral Education – GREM, Spain), Rote Falken Kinderfreunde Österreich (Kinderfreunde, Austria), Slovenian Falcons Youth Union (SFYU, Slovenia) and DUI-LEG og VIRKE (DUI, Denmark). The project ran over 2021 and 2022.
Kids Got Rights focused on child participation and the empowerment of children through self-organisation and claiming their own rights. The project involved children from 8 to 13 years old in six international meetings and several national activities, besides a parallel research action, aimed at raising awareness and training children and adults around the topic of children’s participation rights. The young people throughout the project have contributed to the Children’s Rights Education Toolkit which can be found here.
The specific objectives of this project are:
- To educate and raise children and adults awareness on children’s rights, with a specific focus on the participation rights
- To support children in critically assessing the state of children’s rights in their everyday lives (schools, families, organisations, etc.) through the development of quality standards for the mainstreaming of children’s rights.
- To empower children to facilitate their self-organisation in groups to claim their rights and make a complaint when their rights are violated.
- To build knowledge on the state of child participation rights in children’s organisations, as well as the impact of the self-organisation of children on their development as citizens in a European context.
The project activities
In February 2021 each partner organisation formed a national group of around 15 children age 8-13, so-called Children’s Rights Superheroes.
April 2021 Kick-off Meeting – The main objective of this meeting was to train coordinators and children on how to use co-design methodology for the self-analysis. It focused on discovering aspects for self-analysis and aims to raise awareness about it. In this meeting, we also went through the project tasks and timeline with the children. This was a great chance to virtually meet others from the partner organisations
Children Self-Analysis (April – July 2021) – One of the project outputs will be a research paper on the impact of children’s self-organisation on their development as citizens in a European context. This activity would carry out a Self-Analysis by the children about their realities and situation in relation to children’s rights in their local context, including their organisations.
Sharing realities (August 2021) – An international sharing meeting where partners shared (physically and virtually) educational practices and the results from the Children Self-Analysis.
Forming of Kids Hubs (October 2021)– Start with children forming kids hubs in their national context. The hubs have two main streams: The First stream, training the children on participation rights and self-organisation to equip them with the necessary competencies to set up self-organised spaces to claim their rights. The second stream, The Kids Hubs, will conduct workshops from children to children and workshops from children to adults on Children’s Rights, especially children’s right to participate.
Delivering sessions (November 2021) – The young people involved in the project delivered the sessions they developed over our residential weekend to both their peers and adults.
Check-in Meeting (March 2022) – Children’s rights superheroes from all project organisations came together at the Check-in meeting in Barcelona in March 2022. This was an international meeting where the project will monitor what has happened so far in the project and check in to advance the project plan and activities.
International Kids Hubs meeting (April 2022) – This meeting took place in Austria and compiled all the workshops and the training implemented in the Kids Hubs into one toolkit of educational activities for children’s rights education by children for children and by children to adults. Additionally, the meeting planed and designed two social media campaigns to raise awareness on the EU level on mainstreaming children’s rights and complaints procedures for children when their rights are being violated.
Social Media Campaign (July – Oct 2022) – Implementing two social media campaigns at the European level to raise awareness on children’s participation rights as developed during the International Kids’ Hubs Meeting: one campaign targeting children (promoting the use of the complaint procedures developed in the handbook) and one targeting adults (sensibilisation and information to raise awareness on the need to mainstream children’s rights
The Children of Europe Conference (August 2022) – The conference took place at Common Ground 2022 and was a place for the children to share experiences and raise awareness, to both adults and children, on mainstreaming children’s rights, mainly the rights to spaces to be heard, the rights to set up and join groups, the right to access information and to be taken seriously in the public decision-making processes.
The final steps of the project were to use all the learnings to create a handbook for group leaders wanting to do activities around children’s rights, especially the participatory rights. Watch this space for the publication of the handbook in February 2023.