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

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.

By Tryphon K., Association "Solidarity and Development", Democratic Republic of Congo

Theme 2
-Many children live in conditions of very serious poverty that leads them to illiteracy, malnutrition and excessive infant mortality...

-Children living in precarious conditions will reproduce, relive precarious conditions and will not think about improving conditions when they become adults.

Activity, action:
Two main actions are to be carried out:
(a) Coverage of primary school fees (6-10 years)
(b) The provision of medical care (first aid) for malnourished children.

By Adeline N., SAMWAKI Association (Sauti ya Mwanamke Kijijini) "Rural Women, Information and Communication for Development", Democratic Republic of Congo

Theme 2
I support this theme because holistic support for a child opens up new horizons and gives them the necessary skills to take charge of their lives at all levels. The fight against poverty is the first element to be fought for a healthy and sustainable environment.

Action, activity:
-Support the schooling of children in situations of poverty
-Apprenticeship in trades for children over the age of formal schooling

By Hassimi S., Association SEEPAT = "Sauvons Environnement, Eau Potable, Assainissement pour Tous", Burkina Faso

Theme 1
1-The world has failed in its duty to protect children. In times of war, children are the targets.

2-Sustainable development begins with safe, healthy and well-educated children.

Action, activity:
-Advocacy around the respect of children's rights;
-Community awareness of children's rights;
-Advocacy and community awareness on childrearing.

By Arouna G., Cameroon

Theme 1
1st reason: to meet the growing needs of the present generation while respecting sound and sustainable environmental management.

2nd reason: reduction of inequalities and equitable income sharing.

Action, activity:
-Awareness-raising for education for all
-Development of diversified activities

By Jyoti Tuladhar (with friends in Nepal), International Consultant on gender and human rights, member of the International Committee for October 17, Nepal

Theme 2
The process of empowering children guides them to feel and believe that they are powerful actors in their own right​ and not only meant to be looked after and given a secure environment and educated well. They must learn to act for themselves. They need to know how to stand up for themselves and where possible, help others to do the same.

Children learn well from peer groups and if we can teach them about their rights early on in life, their internalization will mature as they advance in years. They will become strong advocates as adults for reducing poverty with dignity.

Action, activity:
Will motivate development workers to visit schools in remote regions of Nepal where people are still suffering in great poverty; hold group gatherings with the children and community and talk about their rights and dreams; raise awareness and empower them with a sense of their dignity and worth in life.

By Felicien A., Orphanage "Tree of Life of Children", Benin

Theme 1
By ensuring the well-being of children, by providing a safe and sustainable environment, all the children of the world will be happy, they will no longer experience extreme poverty; the suffering of the children will be diminished; they will live in a healthy and safe environment.

Actions for children will be more impacted and sustainable; children will live on a long term the causes required.

Action, activity:
We plan to undertake activities around food security and education.

By Patrick LP, ATD Fourth World Brest, France

Theme 1
It is not "to act against poverty" that we must "support children" but "by acting" against poverty that we can support them.
Theme 1 is better, but long ... Why not, for example: "Overcome extreme poverty, in the name of the rights of the child"?

By Anne S., ATD Fourth World Saint Malo, France

Theme 2
I prefer the wording, which refers to "to empower" rather than "to ensure ... by providing".
I prefer the wording, which speaks of "empower" rather than "well-being".

Action, activity:
Reach out to families with children and offer families actions that also concern children.

By Pierre S., ATD Fourth World Rennes, France

Theme 1
I choose the first theme because it indicates more clearly that we are concerned about all children and that we want to unite for the well-being of all children. We are a movement of equal dignity, and in particular of the equal dignity of all children, taking as a measure of our progress in this direction, the well-being of the most "vulnerable" children, the ones furthest behind in the access to the rights of all children.

A safe and sustainable environment refers to all the meanings of the word "environment" and it is both the ecological environment and the family environment.

Action, activity:
We will reflect on this theme in the program of the Fourth World People's University 2019 - 2020