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It’s almost time….Child in the City International Seminar Cascais 2022

Image: by Canal Cascais

In just a few days we’ll be welcoming you to the Portuguese city of Cascais, to debate, learn and share with each other ideas for ensuring children’s rights are part of the mainstream.

The Child in the City International Seminar Cascais 2022 brings together children’s champions and experts from all over the world, presenting the latest knowledge and insights on the rights of children.

Are children and young people being heard when it comes to developing national and local policies? What measures can and should be taken to protect their rights and participation during the post pandemic age? How can we ask children and how they could be heard to make their rights mainstream in local policy planning?

These are just some of the key questions that we will all be asking, and hopefully providing some key answers to, as part of this important gathering.

In the past few weeks we’ve shared with you some fascinating insights of a selection of the key speakers and presenters lined up to talk to you in Cascais. Both recognise some of the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic to child professionals, and so here is a little reminder of some of their key messages.

First we heard from Anna Schledorn, from the city of Regensburg in Germany. Anna is the city’s youth welfare planner, and besides planning its youth services, she also leads the city’s ‘family and child-friendliness’ policies, as well as youth participation.

She believes that while more and more communities recognise the importance of acknowledging children’s rights within local planning processes, there is a lack of knowledge in how to actually approach and tackle the issue.

“In many cities it is approached with projects and unfortunately is very dependent on the goodwill of the people in charge – that means that when somebody is in charge, who is pro- child rights, then good projects can be done.

“However, as soon as the person in charge changes, often the projects are cancelled. I believe that projects can be a good approach to try something new. But in general children’s rights are a right and the implementation mustn’t depend on the goodwill of politicians and the city administration.”

The implementation of children’s rights, she adds, must be a ‘given’ under any government. Anna will be taking part in a workshop in Session A, Children’s and young people’s participation as a tool to establish their rights.

We also got the thoughts of one of our keynote speakers, Regula Flisch, who is an acclaimed education experts based at the University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland. In Cascais she will tell us about the Kinderrechte (children’s rights) app,a new way of helping ensure children and young people are better informed about their rights and, crucially, know how to exercise them.

This app, she says, meets three key objectives: an age-appropriate digital presentation of children’s rights through a ‘participatory’ approach with both children and adults; transferable knowledge and recommendations for the collective design of digital solutions with 6-12 year-olds; and materials for the use and dissemination of the app in school and external settings.

‘This was a big technical challenge – but it worked out great’

“Like all other projects, the transition to a purely digital project was a challenge,” says Regula, who will be giving the first keynote presentation, Rights of the Child at your Fingertips, on Day one.

“This was especially so in the first part of the project, which took place during the first lockdown, when we held three conferences, all digital. This was a big technical challenge at the time, as all of us – including the participants – were not yet that practised – but it worked out great,” she adds.

We have an exceptional and diverse programme of keynote speakers and contributors lined up for Cascais, and look forward to all of you taking part in the discussions – see you there!

Visit the event website for the full programme.

There is still time for you to register to attend the event in Cascais, which takes place from 19-20 May – click here for more information. 

Author: Simon Weedy

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