Proposition theme for October 17 2019

The following two themes, which take into account the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2019, are proposed for the October 17 commemoration this year:

1 - Ensuring the well-being of children by providing a safe and sustainable environment

2 -  Empowering children to end poverty

You are invited to answer to these three questions

Question 1 : Which theme do you prefer?

Question 2 : What are the two main reasons why you prefer this theme?

Question 3 : In 2019 we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Keeping this in mind, please tell us about one or two actions you plan to pursue, implement or undertake to support or elaborate on the theme you have chosen as your preference?

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Background for the proposed themes:

The emphasis on children in the proposed themes reflects the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/44/25] which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989.

The Convention states that everyone under the age of 18 (the definition of a child), regardless of gender, origin, religion or possible disabilities, needs special care and protection because children are often the most vulnerable. Yet, in most parts of the world we continue to witness children suffering from poverty, violence and abuse, forced labour, forced separations from their parents, and other serious social and economic deprivations.

Therefore, the proposed themes strive to address the fundamental issues of the protection of children, especially those living in poverty, and their empowerment as agents of change. In particular, the proposals attempt to highlight (a) the need to provide children a safe and sustainable environment where they can attain their full potential; and (b) that the empowering of children, and the protection of their human rights, is crucial to ending poverty everywhere.

The emphasis on children in poverty provides important opportunities to involve children and children's movements, such as Tapori, and to highlight their contributions to ending extreme poverty.

For your reference:

The following UN bodies are examining these themes in 2019:
- High Level Political Forum's theme is “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” in 2019;
- The sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2019 has the priority theme: “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”

39 comments for this discussion

By Patrice M.M., Association ASCOVI = Association des Consommateurs des Produits Vivriers, Democratic Republic of Congo

Theme 2
We found it useful on our part to choose or retain the child and poverty as our focus. The child is placed in the natural family context and is placed under the responsibility of the parents first and then of society as a whole. We must remain faithful to the vision of the founder of the October 17 Movement.

Reason 2: The child in today's world suffers several negative consequences of poverty. The situation of children is deteriorating more rapidly given the economic, social and political crisis in our States and families.

Action, activity:
-To offer a friendly and fraternal meal to the children of families of the poor.
-Go to meet abandoned children or children in difficult situations.

By Jean K.M., RAPDEC Association = "Réseau d'Actions pour la Paix et le Développement Communautaire", Democratic Republic of Congo

Theme 1
Children are forcibly recruited into armed groups and have no space to express themselves.

Because poverty is so widespread that it is estimated that more than 80% of the population of North Kivu survives on less than US$0.20 per person per day. In some parts of the Province, access to quality education and health care is perceived by the population as an illusion, either because of low income or because of the remoteness or even absence of health and school facilities. This situation negatively affects their well-being to such an extent that they are abandoned to their sad fate.

In addition to these problems, which are almost similar to all the provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Province of North Kivu also faces certain specific situations that accentuate the deterioration of the population's living conditions. Examples include high population density in mountainous areas, disharmony in inter-community relations and social tensions, systematic destruction of the ecosystem by refugees and armed gangs. And also, the periodic volcanic eruptions, including the one of 2002 that destroyed more than ¾ the economic fabric of the city of Goma, the presence of national and foreign armed groups, inter-ethnic wars, etc.

Action, activity:
1. Organize conferences-debates for children to discuss poverty and strategies to reduce it. This will allow children to understand the ins and outs of poverty through exchanges.

2. Train children through workshops on their rights and the culture of peace for a better environment. Children will be led to play theatre, skits, recite poems... on peace and peaceful coexistence and on the consequences of poverty.

By Brian O.T., Association "Presentation Sisters", Ireland

Theme 2
Reason 1: We are enlivened by the activism of the youth in the climate change debate and would feel that if we are to live the SDGs to the fullest, then we must leave no one behind and this includes the youth.

Reason 2: The Presentation Sisters in Ireland and in England are steeped in a tradition of commitment to education of both primary school and secondary students. In educating the young people who will be the stewards of the future we have a confidence in their ability and would advocate strongly for the empowerment of children.

Action, activity

In the Presentation Schools we promote a year-long initiative called “challenge to change” that encourages student in either class or school grouping to engage in project activity “Challenge to Change” over the course of the academic that they can share with others in their school / local community. One stipulation of the activity is such all projects must be aligned to the SDGs.

A second initiative that will be undertaken by the Presentation Sisters in Ireland and England on October 17th is to collaborate in prayer and action around the Eradication of Poverty Day on October 17th 2019. We will prepare an informative resource for all as well as encouraging participation and attendance at local events.

By Divine M.K., FERAPAD Association = "Rural Women Friends of Peace and Development", Democratic Republic of Congo

Theme 1
Reason 1: We have chosen the first theme because it seems to address and encompass all the key sectors that can motivate an actor in the promotion and protection of children's rights. The second theme seems to be implied in the first. In addition, this theme seems to be based on encouraging political and private decision-makers to strengthen the legal and institutional framework for risk prevention and child protection.

Reason 2: This theme can contribute to government and civil society strategies to eradicate the phenomenon of trafficking, the worst forms of child labour, the spread of HIV against children, irregular migration and rescue low-income parents.

Action, activity
-Research and Advocacy: A research team will be deployed in the mining areas of Fizi where children are trafficked and experience worst forms of labour, to assess the living and working conditions of children in gold mines. After the research, advocacy missions will be carried out with local authorities.

Awareness-raising and outreach: participatory theatre, cinemas on children's rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child will be presented and screened in villages because our experience shows that rural populations are more emotional through messages broadcast in forum theatre, in that they participate in debates on social issues such as child trafficking and exploitation, sexual violence, forced prostitution, etc.

By ATD Fourth World Philippines

Theme 1
Julia said that the issue with theme 1 is the word sustainability but that word is very relevant and is the word of the past two years, particularly in the context of environmental and social justice. The issue is not just for children, and sustainable is important.

Hilda said theme 1 is good because it also covers adults.

Rap said that theme 1 is a more complete theme, because it includes action for both adults and children.

By Elagbe D., Association "Youthlead", Togo

Theme 1
Reason 1: By ensuring the well-being of children, we indirectly support them to act against poverty in the future (not to say that the first theme already takes into account the second).
Reason 2: Ensuring the well-being of children takes into account all aspects that promote the development of children at all levels.

Action, activity:
To set up a programme called "Children and Youth" which is a component of fair projects for children and young people, especially in TOGO and extracurricular school environments.

By Michael H., Shabnam Resources, India

Theme 1
-Preparation to make the children empowered, in the line of ending poverty, is very important. When most of the children do not know how to end poverty, it would be too much to ask them to end poverty.

-Integrate many stakeholders to this task. Then the second theme would become possible

Action, activity:
-The most important element is that the NGOs need financial help.

-This assurance would take them to great heights.

-If you are unable to financially support, guide them effectively, do not lead to high hopes with no fruits to bear.

By Claude S., SAIP Association = "Solidarité Associative pour l'Intéret du Paysan", Democratic Republic of Congo

Theme 2
Reason 1: Because poverty makes it difficult for children to develop, stops their physical, scientific and social growth. If the fight against poverty is resolved, the Convention on the Rights of the Child will be respected because the means of its dissemination will be available and all children will be respected because in the street no children will be seen begging.

2nd reason: Poverty is the source of all ills, poverty contributes to juvenile delinquency of children, poverty pushes children to debauchery, leads to the sexual sale of their bodies in order to find food with all the possible consequences of diseases. In post-conflict areas in eastern DRC, as a result of parental poverty, children are recruited into armed groups; parents who fail to pay their children's school fees, several children drop out of school, some are used as gun carriers, other girls are used early as wives of gunmen, and early pregnancies are registered for girls under 18.

This is why we SAIP being an organization involved in child protection on the ground, we encourage the 2nd theme to bring children out of the misery that drives many children to their deaths because they are abandoned to their sad fate.

Action, activity:
1. Establish income-generating activities (IGAs) for parents or guardians of vulnerable children in non-formal training centres for children outside the school system.

2. To provide a project called "CANTINE SCOLAIRE" where children can eat at the heart of their learning in the centre: this is to encourage children who drop out of school due to famine; some have left us because they are children heads of families, they romanticize machine-guns to get food. If the school canteen project is installed at the centre, all these children will return to classes because they will be able to eat.

3. Implement a vocational training project. After the 3 years that children do to obtain their certificate at the end of primary school, these children can be referred to vocational training to follow courses for economic self-help according to their choice, this to fight against poverty.

By Nestor S., Franciscans, Democratic Republic of Congo

Theme 1
Everything starts from the environment. And if the environment is not better, life will not be better. The environment is all-encompassing.

Action, activity:
Our concern is very much for young people, young girls, young mothers. Here we do not focus on girls' studies. We would like to be able to raise awareness through conferences.

By Remi S.M., CEPO Association = "Centre d'Encadrement des Personnes Opprimées", Democratic Republic of Congo

Theme 2
1st reason: Poverty is an effective weapon that destroys family unity in the world in general and in Africa in particular, it is reflected in the abandonment of families and the interference of children in the ranks of militias and armed groups, the absence of childcare structures.

Reason 2: Poverty is at the root of social exclusion of both the child in school, which remains an ideal place for his or her education; poverty is at the root of undernourishment and poor nutrition of children; poverty reduces the harmonious emotional and intellectual development of the child; poverty constitutes a danger to the child and the society in which he or she lives.

Action, activity:

1. Conduct advocacy sessions with decision-makers for good governance of basic social services for citizens living in precarious situations, especially for out-of-school children (see Art 3 of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child)

2. Conduct awareness sessions, through peaceful marches with photos, posters, banners across avenues, sit-ins in front of citizens' homes, United Nations agencies, parliaments, administrative offices of the authorities and finally to encourage them to involve vulnerable children living in extreme poverty in their budgets and programmes of action.