– Working to end violence against children
In 2018, Children (as Actors) Transforming Society will explore – through lived experiences and examples of inspiring practice – how children’s participation can be an important catalyst for ending violence against children.
The title of the next year’s C.A.T.S. forum at Caux is “Safe Together.” We have chosen this title to emphasise the important of collaboration, not only between children and adults, but also between different sectors, to cultivate safe environments for all children, everywhere. We will therefore focus on the strategies we can all engage in to create safety, and how the collaboration between children and adults is a critical dimension.
As framework undergirding the design of the next forum, we have adopted the “Protective Environments” framework which illustrates 8 strategies/areas to address violence against children:
- Governmental commitment to fulfilling protection rights (including appropriate policies and budgets);
- Legislation and enforcement;
- Attitudes, traditions, customs, behaviour and practices;
- Open discussion, including the engagement of media and civil society;
- Children’s life skills, knowledge and participation;
- Capacity of those in contact with the child;
- Basic and targeted services;
- Monitoring and oversight
The 8 strategies are symbolically represented by an 8-colour striped umbrella under which all can feel protected from violence – represented by thunder and lightning.
Our approach is to emphasis the child participation dimension, and how children can influence or participate in the different components of the protective framework. We therefore opt for a child rights-based angle, focusing on preserving children’s dignity, rather than placing them under a light of victimisation.
The forum will offer an array of opportunities to freely explore practices of child participation that implement each of the 8 pathways to safety. Through showcasing, workshops, small and large group interactions, and action-learning, children and adults will develop their knowledge and skills to implement actions that fulfil one or more strategies in the framework. In parallel, they will be supported in imagining, and planning their own social action, with the aim of addressing the root causes of violence against children in their local environments, through collaboration between children and adults.
By looking at the intersection between child participation and combatting violence against children we wish to contribute to the implementation of the UNCRC (Art. 19, 28 and 37) which obliges signatory states and caretakers to protect children from all forms of violence. This global agenda is gained a stronger moment through the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 16) and the WHO spearheaded campaign to end all violence against children.