Tell us what you found out –
what were people’s experiences, views or ideas for change?
In 2019, members of the Network of Young Advisors (NYA) cooperated with two advisory boards established by the UNICEF, OFFICE FOR CROATIA: Advisory Board on Children’s Participation, and the Advisory Board on Children’s Rights and Socially Responsible Business.
One NYA member is involved in the work of the National Eurochild Forum (NEF Croatia).
In 2019 NYA members shared their feedback on the draft of the Bucharest EU Children’s Declaration, using the feedback form available for children and organisations working with and for children; they were also invited by the ENOC, to participate in the process of participation of children and young people in the development of new UN standards relating to the peaceful assembly. As the Human Rights Committee is developing a new General Comment (GC) on the right to peaceful assembly, several members of the NYA participated, completing the online survey.
In November 2020, members of the Network of Young Advisers to the Ombudsperson for Children responded to the invitation of Eurochild and NEF Croatia (National Forum of Children’s Councils Eurochild) to get involved in the process of consulting with children on the development of a new Strategy for Children’s Rights in the European Union and EU document “Guarantee for Children”.
Therefore, the NYA members discussed some fundamental issues concerning children’s rights, the quality of life of children, but also the way in which the current Corona crisis has affected children’s lives. At the moment, the NYA is participating in preparation of the Alternative report of the Ombudsman for Children to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Tell us your advice on doing participation activities - what worked well, what you enjoy, what is inclusive?Training and policies. The Office of the Ombudsman for Children employs a multidisciplinary team of experts of various professions (legal experts, psychologists, pedagogues, a social pedagogue, a social worker, a speech therapist and an economist). All expert staff of the office are with university degree in law and social sciences, with a specialization in the field of children's rights, experience in child participation policy, mechanism and methodologies. They also have in-depth knowledge and experience in working with children of various backgrounds and level of vulnerability and communicating complex legal, political and social matters in a child-friendly manner in order to support the process in conveying key messages back and forth. A special consideration is always given to the care and protection of children involved, in accordance with our Child Protection Policy.
What do you try to change?
What has changed?Several generations of young advisors have identified the need to further investigate the nature of the participation of children in school activities. So, in 2017/2018, the Office of the Ombudsman for Children, in cooperation with the scholars from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, conducted research on the participation of children in the education system. Further participatory work with the Young Advisors is planned with the goal of validating the research results, formulating recommendations and further disseminating the results and conclusions.