Children and young people must be partners for change if we are to realise the ambition of the new global policy framework – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) – to eradicate poverty by 2030 and make sure that we leave no-one behind. CATS will explore the SDGs this year through it’s theme and aims to impact decision makers and policies.
The SDGs were adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in September 2015 following extensive global consultations with all key stakeholders, including children and young people. They set out a series of targets to be reached to create a sustainable and more equitable world. All of these targets affect children and young people, from education, to violence, to climate change. How can we make sure that children are involved in achieving these targets at all levels: locally, nationally and internationally?
Children around the world are already tackling many of the issues addressed by the SDGs, not only ensuring that decision-makers listen to them and take them seriously but also leading initiatives with significant impact – for example, national campaigns to combat violence against children in Peru and working with local governments to improve the quality of the environment in the Mumbai slums.
But the reality is that more children need to be involved if they are truly to shape the world we live in. CATS 2016 will explore this critical issue, providing space for children and adults alike to discuss what needs to happen so that children can use their voice and influence in different settings. We will use the lens of ‘3Ps’ to explore this: People, Planet, and Possibilities! What do people bring to the picture? How is our planet affected? How is it possible to transform society?
While the first day will set up the context, we will jump right in the core of the discussions on the second day, looking at the possibilities for children, today, to influence policy. On the third day the participants of CATS 2016 will explore the People aspect: what role should interpersonal relations and social groups play for children to influence policy, from local to global? The next day will act as transition between People and Planet, reflecting on what it means to influence policy. Through an exercise on collective decision-making, the participants (People) will make decisions about what to do with Caux (Planet). Exploring then the Planet aspect, we will discuss the importance of space, environment and resources and the policy-making on these issues. Building on the knowledge and explorations of the past days, on the sixth day we will live out the Possibilities day. What possibilities can we contribute to? Which ones do we want to engage in? Finally we will celebrate the learning of how children can play an active role in creating a more just, sustainable and inclusive society; and we will collectively commit to making this happen.