Bosnia and Herzegovina: children are taught how to advocate for their own rights!

The BiH coalition of child-focused NGOs “Stronger Voice for Children” is now implementing a project to encourage child participation. With funding from the European Commission, children are encouraged to participate in monitoring the process of implementation of the recommendations of the UNCRC and of the Shadow report. “Voices of Children” is complementary to the Save the Children’s project “Child Participation in Local Community” aiming to promote child participation and consultation in decision-making, within their local communities.

’Stronger Voice for Children’ has formed and worked with 10 groups of children who conducted surveys within their local communities, together with adults and governmental representatives. The children’s research aims to analyse the current implementation status of child rights in their municipality. The results of their research will be included in the first children report to the UNCRC, together with the Alternative report on the children’s rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Between the 28th and the 31st of October, the coalition hosted the second children meeting within the EU-funded project “Voices of Children”. The meeting was an opportunity for children to share their experiences, results and recommendation regarding the surveys they conducted between February and May, on the following topics: knowledge about children’s rights, violence against children, quality education, and the right to express their opinions. The children have conducted their research in 10 local communities: the inputs of 1000 girls and boys were included. Furthermore, a letter to the national authorities was sent by these children advocating towards the government to ratify the Third Optional Protocol on communication procedures to the UNCRC.