The last days of the CATS Conference were full of positive feelings about what had been learned, shared, exchanged, acquired, explored and discovered.
On Saturday the Kittens’ Workshop was visited by young adults to learn more about the activities and what the ‘Kittens’ had accomplished this week. It was an opportunity for them to realise that no matter their age, children could learn about their rights in many different ways even while playing.
On Sunday the participants discussed the key learnings of the week at CATS. The 26 delegations representing over 40 countries were all very enthusiastic about the Conference and full of projects to take back home to enhance children’s participation in their community.
During the feedback session a young person, talking on behalf of her Community Group, said: “The CATS Conference served as a reminder of how life should be in the aspect of team spirit and even collaboration between adults and children. This was experienced in ALL aspects and activities undertaken at CATS, through fun games, chores, Community Groups and Together Times.”
Participants presented a short summary of the document that was drafted by adolescents during the conference to be submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child as part of the General Comment on the Rights of Adolescents. A few points included were to raise the general age of marriage and to drop the voting age in some countries to sixteen. Additionally, children, no matter at what age, should have access to knowing their rights.
Gerison Lansdown, international consultant on children’s right to participate, concluded the conference by drawing lessons from a week of child participation at CATS. She pointed out that “CATS has shown that it is possible for young children, young people and adults of all ages to learn, play and have fun together,” but stressed that “to make that happen we have to collaborate at every level – in the development, planning, designing, organising and delivery of CATS.”
You can also visit the following websites with blog posts about CATS 2015: