Youth Promoting and Expressing their Rights

July 30, 2020

What does this have to do with human rights?

Children and youth have the right to know their rights! It is clearly stated in article #42 of the United Nations convention of the right of the child (CRC). Not only do they have the right to know their rights, but it is also the responsibility of adults to know these rights and to inform youth about them, whether they are family or community decision makers.

Doing CAPs in which they learn about their rights better equips young people to enact their rights and give them the tools to educate their peers and community about these rights to ensure their protection in their communities, and that decision-makers uphold the responsibilities of these rights.

1. Maison des Enfants de St-Roch et Joujouthèque Basse-Ville,Québec Québec

Children from la Maison des enfants de St-Roch and la Joujouthèque Basse-Ville promoted their rights by participating in weekly activities and discussions about their children’s rights. These activities better equipped children with knowledge on how to bring their rights into the spotlight of discourse. During their philosophy workshops, children questioned what their rights were and how they can attain them. They also made and decorated lanterns in relation to human rights and the importance of family and friendships.

2. Théâtre les Gros Becs,Québec Québec

The children who visited the theater Les Gros Becs promoted youth rights by using a participatory and human-rights based approach during philosophy workshops following their attendance to a play on the thematic of migration presented by Les Gros Becs . The philosophy discussions gave the youth a space to reflect on the main themes of the show, exile, migration and identity, and allowed the youth to talk through these themes and to change their outlook on the world. The workshops allowed youth to develop their critical thinking skills. 13 workshops were offered by the Théâtre les Gros Becs.

3. L'Amie, Québec Québec

The group of children at L’Amie promoted their rights by participating in exciting and engaging workshops focused on human rights using different forms – including art, writing, music. The aim of these workshops was to make children more aware of their rights and on how to enact them. The 10 workshops zoomed in on different themes related to children’s rights. One such example was a workshop with a nutrition specialist linked with ensuring that chidren were aware of their right to healthy foods. Throughout these 10 workshops a photographer and their children assistant documented the project. The group will make a calendar at the end of the project with these photos.

4. Centre d’Amitié Autochtone Lanaudière (CAAL) Enfance, Joliette Québec

This group of Indigenous children of the ‘Centre d’Amitié Autochtone Lanaudière’ (CAAL) promoted their rights by firstly learning more about them, and then using their knowledge to raise awareness of these rights in their community. They learned about their right through attending weekly human rights workshops and by experiencing their rights in smaller groups. To celebrate National Child Day, they created a tree of rights to raise awareness of children rights in their communities.

5. YWCA Québec - Centre Filles Mobile, Québec Québec

The young women of the ‘YWCA Québec - Centre Fille Mobile’ in Québec city undertook multiple projects related to the promotion of their own rights and the protection of the rights of other members of their community. Some groups decided to target the issue of poverty and homelessness. To break the social isolation of people experiencing homelessness, they organized a popular soup. They also created and distributed a zine around their community that educated others on this community issue, as well as produced an art exposition denouncing poverty. Other young women decided to focus on educating themselves and their peers about political issues and the federal elections. This allowed them to sharpen their critical thinking skills. Another project centered around feminist issues particularly aimed to understand what feminism is and how to be a feminist. To showcase their learning, each young woman participated in an exhibition to present the life of a woman they found inspirational.