Articles 12 and 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasize that the child has the right to be assured to form its own positions and opinions, to be free to express them and to make them valuable in the decision making process.
We at the National Network for Children see this as a critical process in children development as complete persons who are capable to defend their positions. The necessity to confirm these rights goes far beyond. It is an instrument for child protection. A child who has not been educated to share its thoughts and opinions could not for example share that he has been a harassment victim. In such a case the responsible adults could not react.
The child participation guarantees children rights and suppose that children not only share their opinions freely, but also they are active participants in community and social processes, related to child-adult bonding, to acquire communication competence and to empower children.
In this context, we at the National Network for Children also see children participation as a factor to develop their communities – in the neighborhood, at school or in the organization which they frequent.
To defend children rights on behalf of the children, the National Network for Children created “Megaphone” – an environment to build a community of children and youths, clients or volunteers of its member-organizations. With the support of this constantly functioning and open community of children, we are looking for the most suitable ways to co-work two-way with them. Children consult and participate in our Network activities and the NNC support their ideas and work.