Children claim their rights

11.12.2017 - 08:34 | Veronica Gmünder

The 2017 National Children's Conference took place at Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Trogen from 23 to 26 November 2017. Forty-five children from Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein discussed their rights as children. The 10- to 13-year-olds developed ideas for implementing child rights more consistently in society. They then presented these ideas to Andrea Caroni, member of the Council of States for Appenzell Ausserrhoden, on Sunday, 26 November 2017.

The children engaged intensively with their rights during the four-day conference. Over the course of three workshops, they discussed what their rights are and how they can consciously make use of them. ‘I now know how to claim my rights. I’ll pass on this knowledge to my friends,’ says a participant from Bern.

Children make demands of politicians

On Sunday, Andrea Caroni, a member of the Council of States, visited the National Children’s Conference. The children took the opportunity to present Caroni with a demand for the parliamentarians in Bern: ‘We call for child rights to be made a compulsory part of school education, so that children know their rights and what they mean,’ says 10-year-old Acelya from Zurich confidently. Caroni is impressed by how engaged the children are: ‘I was very interested to hear what the children had to say and I am delighted that they are politically engaged and are standing up for their rights.’

Positive balance

The organisers are pleased with how the conference went: ‘The children had the opportunity to voice their concerns and to then formulate a request,’ explains Damian Zimmermann, Head of Programmes in Switzerland at the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation. Mirjam Rotzler, Co-President of the Swiss Children’s Lobby, added: ‘It’s now up to the politicians to implement the children’s request.’

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