Proposition theme for October 17 2019

May 2019 - The consultation is now finished.
We have received 74 contributions from 34 countries, which have enriched the two proposals below. The contributions were presented to the United Nations in New York in April.

The United Nations theme for October 17, 2019 is:
“Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty"


The following two themes, which take into account the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2019, have been 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

People have been invited to answer 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?


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) [] 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”

70 comments for this discussion

Elvira C., Bogota, Colombia

Theme 2
1st reason: In recent decades we have witnessed that if we are not aware of our rights, we do not use them to our advantage, but to strengthen vicious circles of society that exclude others for the achievement of harmful ends. I think the well-known saying is very wise: DON'T GIVE ME A FISH, TEACH ME TO FISH IT.

2nd reason: Because what we learned in childhood is recorded for us for life and we never forget the experiences of the first years. They always accompany us and mark our reflections in adult life.

Action, activity:
I am contacting organizations and groups that work with early childhood and for the moment I have been welcomed in a foundation called OASIS, which is located in one of the poor localities of Bogota; they have worked with the elderly (grandparents) and children of different ages also to promote urban gardens.

Sem C., National Anti Poverty Commission, Philippines

Theme 2
Reason 1:  It directly references or echoes the theme of October 17 which is elimination of poverty.

Reason 2: It is the richer formulation because it subsumes the thematic elements conveyed in the first proposed theme; ensuring well-being of children,  and safe and sustainable environments,  which are necessarily and thematically part of empowering children.

Action, activity
Art workshop and art competition on the selected theme ;  and multi-stakeholder policy dialogues on prevailing issues affecting children.

ATD Fourth World Haiti
Several contributions and opinions. Theme 1 has more approval.

Theme 1: When we talk about assuming a child's well-being in a sustainable way, we must start from the time the child is very young. It's together with the parents. The child and parents must be supported. I make the link with the parent and the society that is part of the environment.

Theme 1: Through this theme, I see a reflection with parents on what it means to ensure the well-being of their children and how they want to be supported.
Theme 2: The second theme as a space to support children's engagement: how children are supported in their desire not to leave any other child behind. And I also see the possibility of connecting with other children's movements. I am convinced that children are not trusted enough, they are seen much more as people to be educated than as actors capable of changing the world!

Theme 1: I see a certain commitment on the part of parents so that they can provide a better future for their children. When we talk about a safe and sustainable environment, I see that we are talking about safety for children with regard to the environment. Ensuring the well-being of children will ensure the safety of the whole society.
There is a whole commitment there too. We must motivate the child because each child's environment must ensure everyone's future so that they can have a profession, be able to think and get involved.

Theme 1 poses a basic problem. How can we build this conducive environment to welcome these children? Does the safe and sustainable environment really exist? It is a whole process to build this future. This requires a lot of commitment. How can any organization, any person in society be sensitized to this issue? I see the State in particular. "Destruction requires the participation of every citizen, but the State is also needed." This theme appeals to every citizen.
Theme 2: We are faced with an observation: children are there, how can we support them, engage with them so that we can act against poverty?

Jacques :
Theme 1: There are elements of well-being that depend not only on parents but on society. When we talk about projects for the lives of children, the projects must be done together with the children.
Theme 2: We fail to trust children, they must participate according to their level of understanding, this is how we build another mentality so that they contribute to the construction of well-being.

Theme 1: This theme evokes the fact that everyone must look after children, society has a duty to them. There is no one child superior to another: they do not all have the same living conditions but fundamentally they have the same rights. The first theme speaks to the whole society.
Theme 2: With the second theme, we can support children to speak out.

Roseline :
Theme 1: for a theme that addresses society, it speaks to me more. It is universal and fundamental in nature, more relevant for more vulnerable children.
Theme 2: The second theme seems to me to be limiting for an October 17. And then it is understandable that it relieves adults of their responsibilities: it highlights the fact of supporting children in the fight against poverty and it does not sufficiently highlight the direct responsibility of adults. Finally, he puts a lot on the shoulders of the children.

Actions, activities
In the movement's actions, we think of the Welcome Babies action. We take into account the stimulation of the children, and in addition we advise the parents in the training we do with them. We also provide a framework in a health section. If I look at the sustainable future, we allow people to live together (all those who participate) and that's what we call community action. And the advice that parents bring to their neighbourhoods.
In a concrete way, we reach people in a larger whole at the level of society. It's not just a little side where you do an action.

There are also street libraries and the pre-school. These activities allow children to be together, to know that they are equal and that they have a place in society. They are called to be the men of tomorrow. With the concrete actions we do with them, this can engage other actors in society.

Pilar J., ATD Fourth World, Lima, Peru

Theme 2
It seems to me to be a more concrete phrase about the purpose to support in order to act together.

Actions or activities
Through the Street Libraries that we hold in Lima on Thursdays and Fridays. Through this action I feel that we can develop the objective.

We also want to coordinate with the different schools where the children study in order to commemorate the 17th of October.

Beatriz M., ATD Fourth World, Mexico

Theme 2:
-That places all as actors: children as actors of a better world and adults as actors to support children.
-That mobilizes in a slightly new way: what do I do to support the children around me so that they can also act?

However, I would be inclined to create a positive slogan, rather than "against", in favour of something like: Support children to act for a world without poverty.

That would be my contribution to the reflection.

Thank you very much and lots of encouragement! Hugs

ATD Fourth World New Orleans, USA
Different answers from adults and a child

Theme 1
“Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is discipline; discipline a child. Ms D. knows of case of a woman whose sister took the woman’s daughter to a party without her permission. Somebody at the party put a gun to the little girl’s head and shot her. There are too many dangers. Mardi Gras, second lines, she never did any of those things because she wanted to keep her children safe.

Theme 1
Reason: “Everyone has to do their part. Society should be responsible for helping children as opposed to empowering children to do it. “Because everybody has to do something to keep children safe.

Theme 1
- I would like to see us emphasis in this endeavor and future endeavors the inclusiveness of as many people as possible to be involved in working to make the movement a success. This would include children and parents of those living in extreme poverty, those children and parents striving to learn more about the movement and seeking to listen and learn how they can participate in the efforts of ATD.

- It seems to build toward concrete and viable goals resulting from the celebration of The convention and October, 17th celebration. Also this seems to connect us to a worldwide theme that may be on going in many countries.

Theme 2 (13 year old child)
The child said it would be good to bring children together in a public square to think together about how to overcome poverty. Then he shared a rhyme that I believe he said he did not make up: The team together makes the dream together.

Action, activity:
One person says she plans to spread the word as much as possible of the the events surrounding October 17th

ATD Fourth World, Reunion Island
Each person gave their preference and the reasons for this choice.

Theme 1
Theme 1: Families are very concerned about the well-being of the child. For me, a child who is on the street, where he is not stable, cannot learn.
Theme 2: You have to go to high schools, middle schools to talk about it.

Theme 2:
We live in a department where there is a high percentage of children. "Act on poverty": we have to stay on this. We need to Act, Support, Guide, Do Prevention, to break the link in the poverty chain and change society's viewpoint.

Theme 2
The word "well-being" bothers me: some words have passed into a language and a reality. Well being can be combined with sauna and Jacuzzi.
"Empower" is more direct. There are very strong words in theme 2: empower, act, against poverty.
Let the children be able to say with their thoughts. Be concerned about inviting. Children hesitate, but by supporting them, we get children to express their lives. Supporting and acting give meaning to October 17. Children always bring us to adults. They lead us to other circles of growth.

"By providing them with a safe and sustainable environment. »
This sentence may go against children because removing children from their families is not the solution. We think of children, but it must always be with respect for parents.

For me, the word "poverty" is too broad, shouldn't we talk about "extreme poverty"? In line with last year's human rights approach, I would say: "Support children while respecting the rights and dignity of their parents. »
If we support children, while disrespecting their parents, it cannot work. It can be at the school, housing or other level. If you don't respect the parents, you don't support the child. The theme must be clear to any unfamiliar person who passes by and reads the banner.

Theme 2
We cannot wait for everyone to be in a situation of optimal "well-being". Every child living in extreme poverty, where he or she lives, whatever his or her daily struggle, can be an actor in the collective struggle, with others, throughout his or her life. We come as tutors to support, to help with speech.
"Ensuring well-being" no longer seems to me to be everything to them and I do not feel the "active" dimension on their part. It is also through them that we can change the way we look at things.

No choice
Theme 1- They must be provided with decent housing and ensured health. Parents must be guaranteed this, otherwise children will suffer. In Reunion Island, we see that, but elsewhere in the world too.

The fact that we are talking about children without families bothers me a lot.
This may imply a disengagement of adults, and that children are allowed to act. While we know that children where they live are fighting poverty. There is no such dimension of acting on our part.

Pfarrerin Annette R, f.i.t Projekt "Sichtbar, aber auch nicht stumm, Germany:

Theme 2
Reason 1: It's shorter.
2nd reason: I worked in the Tapori secretariat for 3 years (1996-1999), and I have experience in offering Tapori to children in Germany.

The German translation of Theme 2 (as well as the English version) goes beyond what can be expected of children. "Ending poverty" / "To end poverty" / "Armut beenden" would perhaps be a mission for at least a whole generation with which it could begin in childhood, but its achievement would require a lifetime.

Activities, actions
-On October 17, 19 (a Thursday), a commemoration as in recent years will probably take place. For the preparation, we are linked with a specialized school.
Perhaps we could already cooperate with this school in the preparation of a service at the Protestant church in our city in July.

Aminatou. S, Mauritania

Theme 2 :
Improve the living conditions of children by ensuring:
-Quality education for a better development,
-Quality training for school drop-out children,
-Access to healthcare,
-A healthy and prosperous environment to better protect them.

Actions or activities
-Organize an awareness week for families and authorities to better take into consideration vulnerable children,
-Create a children's centre to better hear them
-Advocacy at the level of the authorities for the simplification of civil status procedures and care for children born out of wedlock.

ATD Fourth World team, Cusco, Peru

Theme 2
1st reason: This theme will be linked to the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which is why we believe that emphasis should be placed on the relationship between 'Child Poverty and a Sustainable Future'. Just as all members of a society, children can be actors in the fight for human rights and against poverty, everyone has skills and knowledge that can guarantee the sustainability of these struggles in the future. And for that today we have to guarantee the fulfillment of their rights.

2nd reason: Bearing in mind that the number one objective of the SDGs is to eradicate poverty in all its forms, we consider that it is fundamental to think of development not only as a current well-being but as an ambition that is built from the "protection and human development in rights". Human rights are the greatest conquest of the last century, today we must work together to make them a practice of continuous coexistence. And if we think in this way, we must recognize that poverty is the greatest violation of human rights.

On the other hand, we think that proposal two is too summarized, so we propose: "Empowering children, guaranteeing their rights in order to act against poverty", it may be too long for a slogan, but it may ensure better communication.

Actions or activities:
-The Street Library, as a space for peace and human rights.
-The Fourth World People's University or "Uyarinakusunchis", as a space for reflection and knowledge building.
-Different awareness-raising actions with children and adults.