Education on children’s rights


DCI creates educational tools, organizes trainings in children’s rights and offers its expertise to Belgian and international authorities.

The action of the organization is based on a lifelong learning approach (The association is certified as a “lifelong learning association” by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation), which has many implications in the approach we take to pursue our goals.

DCI intends to advance the knowledge and the respect of children’s rights in society, which has many implications: first, it’s a question of raising awareness on existing rights, but also it’s about creating debates and discussions on children’s’ rights (which is far from being a monolithic notion). In many areas, practices and legislations must evolve; we have to raise awareness of the existence of fundamental rights that all children have, which implies a change and an evolution in the way we think.

DCI’s lifelong learning action is based on many legal principles found in Belgian and international law, as well as on the necessity to enable all actors in society to appropriate this knowledge, principles, and standards in order to build their own perception, opinion and position. It’s a question of giving everyone the ability to act, the tools to think outside the box, to better understand the sometimes complex concepts, to , to stray away from “over-simplifications”, to analyze society and to forge an opinion by being able to integrate multiple aspects of a question.

To do that, DCI listens to its community takes part in various debates and discussions (for instance, with NGOs for children’s rights, the interdisciplinary center in children’s rights, or with the public). The associations are reachable and open to interpellations (we often receive questions about children’s rights, which we respond to depending on our resources and reorient toward specialized instances) in order to adapt our lifelong learning activities with the current debates and questions.

EDUCATIONAL TOOLS


This philosophy of action is retranslated by the realization of educational tools, which are meant to facilitate the giving of information and the creation of debates and discussions. The realization of these tools is based on a participatory methodology : the theme is chosen according to the priorities of the moment, the interpellations that we receive or the debates in which we participate; the realization itself is based on consultations and gathering of information; the goal is to make complex notions accessible to an audience of “outsiders” ; finally, the tool is tested with some “reference groups” before being made available to the public.

Many interns or workers of the association contribute to the elaboration of these tools under the supervision of the permanent staff, which is an excellent practical training. An accompanying committee was also created to help and assist throughout the entire process and guarantee the relevance, the necessity and the usefulness of those tools.

Every year, DCI develops educational tools explaining the different rights of the child, enabling adults, educators and professionals engaged with the youth to approach these themes. These tools help to train, educate and raise awareness about children’s rights. Each educational sheet has one theoretical part, which aims to give professionals the resources to approach the subject in a serious and approachable manner, and a practical part, to promote awareness on the issue. The goal is to help the interventions during training sessions or awareness sessions,and thus to promote activities and trainings on children’s rights. These tools are available in French in the “outils pédagogiques” section.

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ORGANIZATION OF TRAININGS ON CHILDREN’S RIGHTS


As DCI is a lifelong learning organization, we train adults on children’s rights and on strategies in order to promote these rights. Among these initiative is the “Interdisciplinary Certificate in Children’s Rights”, a training that offers workers tools, knowledge and methods to integrate children rights into their work. The program creates interactions between education professional and field actors who belong to various disciplines. The theoretical contributions from those various disciplines are completed by study cases, role plays and debates.

DCI also collaborates in the organization of the Summer University in children’s rights in partnership with the “University Institute Kurt Bosh” (IUKB, Switzerland), the International Institute of Children’s Rights (IDE, Switzerland), the Family Ministry of Luxembourg and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Children’s Rights (CIDE, Belgium). It’s a university program that aims to raise awareness on the general knowledge of children’s rights and to analyze the multiple implications of the Convention of the Rights of the Child for day-to-day professional implementation. This program reaches professionals working in areas linked with children and youth (social workers, psychologists, teachers…) and students finishing their studies. The annual sessions (or biannual) of the University include theoretical interventions as well as practical works. They include for instance cultural and friendly activities aiming to stimulate communication and interaction between the participants and the speakers.

The themes of last years’ sessions were:

- 2006 : A general knowledge on children rights, in Switzerland
- 2007 : Citizenship and participation of the child, in Luxembourg
- 2008 : Violence towards children, in Switzerland
- 2009 : Childhood and poverty, in Switzerland
- 2011 : Children rights and the media, in Belgium

The 2012 Summer Universityin children’s rights was a “study- trip”, called “The Trailer of Children’s Rights”. During the week, the trailer stopped in different cities. It allowed discovering the European Union institutions, the Council of Europe and the UN institutions. This trip was punctuated by unique meetings awith famous speakers. Supervised by NGO’s, participants were able to analyze the existing links between the institutions and the associative world. The goal is to raise awareness of children’s rights, to discover and understand the ways children’s rights are guaranteed and implemented by European and international mechanisms, and to confront theory and practice, through various teaching methods. Find more information in the page dedicated to this activity

Finally, DCI is regularly asked to give trainings on various themes and to various audiences: collaboration with “Youth and Justice” for social workers, trainings given in the context of the Platform on children’s rights for future workers in cooperation and development.

DCI also gives international trainings:

- Training sessions on children’s rights in juvenile justice organized by DCI International Secretary in Geneva

- Training on juvenile justice for DCI-Palestine members, social workers, policemen, prosecutors and judges.

Publications


DCI published, in collaboration with other associations, several books about children’s rights.

THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD EXPLAINED TO THE GROWN-UPS



The rights of the child are a juridical text that can be difficult to understand and non-accessible to a large public. Loyal to its mission, DCI-Belgium has “popularized” the laws and the convention on the Rights of the child, “translated” the juridical language into a language everybody can understand.


This book intends to make the rights of the child known and to answer to questions such as “what are those rights? To whom they apply?”
We want to make the rights of the child known. In fact, this book is the starting point of a transmission work. By informing the parents, teachers, educators, and any person interested, we wish to encourage them to spread the information towards the children, other adults etc. This work of transmission is essential in order to have these rights respected because on the paper, they are useless so they need to be applied and known.


To order this publication, please send us an email to the following address: info at defensedesenfants.be or make your request via the contact form.


THE DEFENCE OF CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN EUROPE (Practical guide)

With the proliferation of international standards on the rights of the child, it is sometimes difficult to find your way. What are the rights that a child holds? How to react in case of violation of these rights? Are there international mechanisms operable to sanction such violations?

It is these questions that this guide seeks to answer. It is addressed to anyone in contact with children, especially street workers who are direct witnesses of these violations.

The publication includes the following chapters:

  • It recalls the international and regional standards in the field of children’s rights;

  • It describes the principles governing the rights of the child and recalls some rights they hold;

  • It presents the various existing international mechanisms that make sure that these rights are respected;

  • It explains how workers can use international mechanisms and inform international bodies about the facts they may witness.

To download the guide in french, please click here.

Our actions in matter of Education to children’s rights

The Trailer of the Children’s Rights 2015

The first edition of this event was a “study- trip”, called “The Trailer of Children’s Rights”. During the week, the trailer stopped in different cities. It allowed discovering the European Union institutions, the Council of Europe and the UN institutions. This trip was punctuated by unique meetings awith famous speakers. Supervised by NGO’s, participants were able to analyze the existing links between the institutions and the associative world. The goal is to raise awareness of children’s rights, to discover and understand the ways children’s rights are guaranteed and implemented by European and international mechanisms, and to confront theory and practice, through various teaching methods. This event came back in 2015. Find more information in the page dedicated to this activity

Training for bus monitors of the Public Service in Wallonia


Awareness-raising and training are among the principal means of action of DCI-Belgium for the promotion and protection of children’s rights in Belgium. In this context, the association is currently in charge of a training program on children’s rights for about 800 bus monitors of the Walloon Public Service.

The main goal of this awareness-raising activity, of one-day of duration per group, is to promote a higher respect of children’s rights in different situations that bus monitors may face in their daily work. The aim is to help professionals to better understand the issues of children’s rights and to have sufficient resources to deal with violations of the rights of the child they may witness in their daily practice. It is indeed essential to convey to the actors in the field, as they accompany children every day, the importance of their role in the promotion and dissemination of children’s rights. Using several tools developed by the association (quiz, workshops, debates, documentation), this awareness day intends to awaken in the participants the concept of "active and responsible agent of change." Bearing this in mind, the workshop is organised mobilising resources from the participants in an open and interactive way, through dialogue and mutual respect.

It is not about accusing or imposing a particular view, but to make them feel real actors playing an important role in the construction of a more respectful society of children’s rights.