Photo credit: Karine GOUGEROT
Paris, 15 November 2021 - Aide et Action, an international association for development through education, has been working for over 40 years to ensure that the voice of children in the world is heard: their rights, enshrined in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), must become a priority of public policies, including in France. Rarely listened to, never consulted, and even less involved in decisions concerning them, children are too often the blind spot in public life, particularly in France.
32 years after the United Nations General Assembly adopted a text guaranteeing the rights of the child in a universal wayHowever, even today, these rights are still difficult to respect in the world. Thus, in the world today, 1 child in 6 lives in extreme poverty12 million girls are married each year and 258 million children are denied an education. With 3 million children living below the poverty line and over 100,000 children France is not to be outdone and also presents a rather worrying panorama.
These alarming figures - which are likely to get even worse because of the economic and social consequences of COVID-19 pandemic - illustrate the huge gap that remains between the legal framework that promotes children's rights in so many countries and the very different reality.
Aware of the gap to be filled, many countries have set up institutions whose scope covers children's rights. France, however, has not. 32 years after the ratification of the CRC, the country still does not have a ministry dedicated to children and young people, which could, in a global and coherent way, respond to the needs and complex problems encountered today by the under-18s.
Similarly, France is currently struggling to fully implement the right to participation of children in all matters affecting them. As in most parts of the world, children are not involved in the development and implementation of public policies that affect them. Every child must be able to express himself or herself, to be informed of his or her rights, to have access to justice, to care, to be heard and to be consulted on all decisions that affect him or her. Only such participation allows the child to have a role, to no longer be an object of law but to become fully a subject of law.
"In our 19 countries of operation, we are taking concrete action to ensure that children's rights are fully respected. This starts with the active participation of children.Charles-Emmanuel BALLANGER, Aide et Action's International Director General, says: " The projects we carry out are no longer simply proposed to the children, but are developed with them. In this way, they are actors in the project.
In France, Aide et Action acts via three focus groups dedicated to children's rights: 1/ Acting Together for the Rights of the Child (AEDE) which, aith children and young people, drafts the civil society report on the situation of children in France for the periodic review of France by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; 2/ The Children's Groupcommitted to the defence of children's rights internationally; and 3/ The "From Convention to Action" Dynamic, which lobbies public decision-makers to improve the effectiveness of children's rights in France and internationally.
About Aide et Action
Aide et Action is an international association for development through education. Since 1981, we have been ensuring access to quality education for the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, especially children, girls and women, so that they can control their own development and contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world. We promote lifelong learning because access to quality education helps to fight poverty and disease, limit climate change and build peace in a sustainable world. We focus on early childhood care and education, access to and quality of education at primary and secondary levels, as well as vocational training and social inclusion. Based on the values of dignity, inclusion and integrity, as well as on the principles of transparency, accountability and solidarity, and thanks to the support of more than 51,000 donors, we are currently running 85 projects in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe - and especially in France - for more than 2.9 million children, young people and adults.
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