ECPAT Project You(th) Together: ECPAT Luxembourg: for and with young people
THE PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH: a pillar in the work of ECPAT Luxembourg
We are working to protect children and young people from sexual exploitation, but to prevent this scourge it is essential to involve young people and mobilize them in the creation of a future society where they will be better protected.
In our development awareness and education activities, we try to involve young people directly.
Our work for and with young people consists of:
- Awareness and discussion workshops (for schools, high schools, youth centres)
- Presentations/interventions in classes (schools & high schools)
- Interventions in tourism schools/schools
- Film workshops + discussion with youth groups (youth centres, any other youth group)
- Participation in the ECPAT Youth Campaign (link) (very young between 15 and 25 years old)
Through our activities, young people are sensitized and educated about the sexual exploitation of children and young people in developing countries, but also about the risks that exist near them with the omnipresence of the Internet and social networks, video games, etc.
Interactive discussions with young people focus on the risks associated with the use of the Internet and new technologies, as well as the sexual exploitation of children through trafficking, prostitution and pornographic images. The aim is to raise awareness among young people, but also to listen to their views and impressions on the themes discussed, and find solutions together that make them less vulnerable to being victims themselves, but also more aware of the plight of thousands of young people around the world.
For young people who want to go further, ECPAT Youth Campaign brings together young people between 15 and 25 years old who wish to get directly involved through the organisation of activities, peer-to-peer training, or the design and dissemination of a campaign linked to raising public awareness.
Learn more about it !
Would you like to know more about our activities with young people, book a workshop or intervention, or get involved with the youth group? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org !
Join us on the ECPAT Youth Campaign Facebook page!
The legislative framework
Child and youth participation
Childhood and youth represent a period in the life of each person that requires special protection – against exploitation, abuse, neglect. Anyone under the age of 18 has the right to such protection. However, for millions of children worldwide, these rights are blatantly and systematically violated, including through various forms of sexual exploitation.
But children are not only beneficiaries of protection – they are also subjects of rights, entitled to the full exercise of their social and economic rights: to education, health care, a standard of living that enables them to develop as they should, to play.
The International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which formally and explicitly recognizes these rights for children, also requires that children themselves be heard in order to be able to fully exercise these rights.
In particular, Article 12 of the CRC establishes that the child has the right to be heard and taken into consideration.
ARTICLE 12 of the CRC
States Parties shall ensure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with his or her age and maturity.
To this end, the child shall in particular be given the opportunity to be heard in any judicial or administrative proceedings affecting him or her, either directly or through a representative or an appropriate organisation, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
ARTICLE 12 of the CRC adapted to children
As soon as you are old enough to have your own opinion, you have the right to give your opinion on all decisions that affect you. Adults have a duty to take your opinion into account.
Countries should ensure that your opinion is taken into account in all important decisions affecting you (e.g. decisions before a judge).
Article 12 is fundamental because it requires us to listen to what children are saying and take them seriously. It asks that we recognize the value of their experience, opinions and specific concerns.
Recognizing that children have rights therefore means learning to work more closely with children to help them build their lives and the society of the future, to develop strategies for change, and to exercise their rights.
In addition to Article 12, other articles of the CRC are also at the basis of our work on child and youth participation:
Article 13 – the child has the right to freedom of expression.
Article 14 – The child has the right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion.
Article 15 – the child has the right to freedom of association.
Article 17 – the child has the right to information.
Article 29: The child has the right to an education that instils respect for human rights and democracy.