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1 The Rights of the Child Qualitative Eurobarometer study Paul Stamper Deputy Managing Director TNS opinion October 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Rights of the Child Qualitative Eurobarometer study Paul Stamper Deputy Managing Director TNS opinion October 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Rights of the Child Qualitative Eurobarometer study Paul Stamper Deputy Managing Director TNS opinion October 2010

2 2 The study A Qualitative Eurobarometer study conducted for DG Justice, coordinated by DG Communications 170 focus groups amongst children aged 15-17 –6 in each Member State –8 with Roma / Sinti / Traveller children –51 children with special needs included in the groups Groups covered urban and provincial areas, lower and higher economic situations and included children from a mix of ethnic backgrounds Research conducted in March 2010

3 3 The concept of Childrens Rights Widespread awareness of the existence of human rights But: –Limited conception of specific rights for children –Not a topic which is given much thought –Tends to be associated with other parts of the world After some discussion most focused on childrens: –Right to education –Right to be a child / have a childhood –Right to have a voice Rights to food, shelter, healthcare etc. acknowledged but largely taken for granted in personal circumstances

4 4 Current sources of support Parents, wider family, friends and teachers form the primary support networks for these children –Albeit with some ambivalence about teachers Beyond this the state and law enforcement agencies are seen as the ultimate sources of support Awareness of services specifically aimed at supporting children in safeguarding their rights is very limited –And even those who know of their existence tend to have little idea how to access them There is clearly room for both enhancing the support for children and raising their awareness of its existence

5 5 What children want from the adult world…

6 6 Have more confidence in children Involve them more in the decisions which affect their lives –In family, school and the public square Teachers more willing to listen and attend to children about: –Experiences of bullying –Problems in other areas of their lives –Their educational development and choices Provide more opportunities for childrens voices to be heard –Specific forums –Greater political empowerment –Champions and ombudsmen

7 7 In their own voices… When my parents got themselves divorced, there were loads of people who took the decision in my interest. No- one asked my advice. They put before me faits accomplis and I had to accept the decisions that were taken on my behalf. I am not stupid or incapable of having my own opinions about the situation. Nobody hears us, nobody knows what we want and especially politicians do not have a clue what is best for us. It is very disappointing when I talk to someone older and the answer is, you are too young to know.

8 8 Respect childrens right to be children Provide more places to play, socialise and be –And make these equally available to all children –Especially those in vulnerable or at risk groups Reduce the pressure to succeed at a young age –To perform at school –To have structured out of school lives –Allow genuinely free time Give all children the security of home, family and friends –Particularly those to whom such things are currently denied by economic situation or personal circumstance

9 9 Inform children about their rights Equip them to speak out at home or school if their rights are infringed –Encourage parents to spend more time with their children Provide information about rights and what to do if they are threatened –Through school programmes –Via social media and channels children use Promote the existence of current support mechanisms –Help lines –Champions –Ombudsmen

10 10 In their own voices… I would put into the school programme some lessons that would concentrate on talking about violence and on giving information; what should be done when you suffer from violence at home, in school or on the streets. In school they do not talk about it at all. The information we are missing is the name and the contact details of the child protection agency and all the institutions responsible for childrens rights.

11 11 More support where the risks are Provide more counselling / psychologist / pastoral support in schools –Independent and confidential –Particularly in relation to bullying Increase proactive support for the more vulnerable –Greater alertness to signs of abuse amongst teachers etc. –Address parental drink / drug issues where children may be neglected or harmed –Consider responses to on-line abuse issues –Financial support for families living in poverty –Scholarships / other educational support for at risk children –Fostering and adoption and retaining family links wherever possible

12 12 In their own voices… [Id like] the right to speak to a person you can trust, without your parents knowing it, with privacy… who does not tell it further, with whom you can feel a bond. Adults should do their best to make children understand that the problem can be solved, [so] that children do not have an impression that the world is evil.

13 13 The Rights of the Child Qualitative Eurobarometer study Thank you

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