香港兒童權利委員會 Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights
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Achievements
Achievements

Children's Council

At present, in many policies concerning children, there are no built-in mechanisms or procedures by which representation of the views and opinion of the child is ensured. Successful precedents for a children's parliament/council have been set in many parts of the world like the UK, France, and Switzerland and in less developed countries such as the deserts of India's Rajasthan and Morocco, where children are allowed to express their views on issues that affect them. In this regard, three organizing agencies including Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights, Against Child Abuse and Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, together with a group of aspired children have been advocating for the establishment of a Children's Council in Hong Kong.

The first Children's Council in Hong Kong was established in the year 2002/2003 as a pilot project sponsored by the Home Affairs Bureau. It was also an extension of the UNCRC - Child Ambassadors' Scheme that was launched in 2000 to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It was jointly organized by the three agencies with the sponsorship of Home Affairs Bureau. In the year 2002/2003 , three organizing agencies together with the Child Ambassadors joint hands to make the first Children's Council in Hong Kong come true.

We hope that the successful implementation of this project will help to accelerate the establishment of a permanent Children's Council by demonstrating to the government and the public that children in Hong Kong are capable of having constructive and fruitful discussions as their counterparts all over the world.

Objectives:

  • To promote awareness of the UNCRC;
  • To realize children's rights to participation;
  • To provide children with an opportunity to develop an understanding of the legislative process of Hong Kong;
  • To enrich children's capabilities to participate in public issues and decision-making on issues that affect them;
  • To create a core group of children who are willing to actively support the promotion of children's rights and the establishment of a permanent Children's Council in Hong Kong.

Child Councilors:

The Children's Council consists of 70 seats. Child Councilors are recruited annually through an open recruitment exercise. After initial screening and interview by the organizing agencies and Child Councilors of the previous years, 70 children aged 11-17 are selected to become that year's batch of Child Councilor.

Training Programmes:

The training programme was designed to help the Child Councilors to familiarize with the UNCRC and prepare themselves for the Children's Council. Training activities in the form of workshops and overnight camp are conducted to raise participants' understanding towards the UNCRC and children's rights, and the concept of participation, as well as team spirit building among them. Motion topics and work plans are also formulated during the training.

Motions and Children's Council Meeting:

Each Child Councilor is given a 1-minute presentation opportunity to voice out their concerns on a child-related topic during the training. Through debate, discussion and Q&A, Child Councilors finally voted for the 3 motion topics of their top concern to be put forward at that year's Children's Council Meeting. The 70 Child Councilors are then divided into groups, and spent several months to conduct research, survey and interviews, formulate arguments and prepare the motion document to be tabled. The respective motions are presented and debated in the Council Meeting usually held at the Legislative Council Building. A wide range of child-related motions have been initiated by children themselves since the first Children's Council Meeting took place in 2003. They included: education policies, child abuse, school bullying, children in poverty, childhood overweight, children's right to participation, unhealthy information to children, children and youth at risk, sex education among children, children left at home alone, new immigrant children's learning opportunities and children's mental health problems.

The Children's Council project has received encouraging responses from the Government, Legislative Councilors, schools, NGOs, media, individual guests in the local community as well as overseas, and the most important of all, the children themselves. The Children's Council project is co-organized by Hong Kong Committee on Children's rights, Against Child Abuse and Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, and is now sponsored by the "Childrens Rights Education Funding Scheme" of the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, with the active support of Kids' Dream whose members are accumulated from the Children's Council projects.


Kids' Dream

You call us the future, but we are also the present. It has become the slogan of an energetic children's group in Hong Kong – Kids' Dream, who is eager to make children's voice heard in the community. With the continuous discussion and preparation of a group of aspired children in 2004 and 2005, the Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights has succeeded to get operational resources and helped to set up Kids' Dream – Hong Kong's first child-led organization focused on promoting the Convention on the Rights of the Child with children's efforts in a sustainable way.

Kids' Dream was formally established on 26 August 2006, and was witnessed by Mr. Wong Yan Lung, Secretary for Justice, local and overseas NGOs, media agencies and the family members and friends of the Kids' Dreamers at the Launching Ceremony. The establishment of Kids' Dream has indeed written a new chapter for Hong Kong's child rights history.

Kids' Dream organizes various activities in the community to raise public awareness on the rights of the children. They also participate in media interviews, forums and events organized by the government as well as NGOs, in a hope that the general public can recognize the importance of children's rights through different ways.

Today, HKCCR has been supporting Kids' Dream by sharing work space with Kids' Dream members, and provides technical support in the areas of child rights, planning and budgeting, networking, knowledge building and programme implementation.

Kids' Dream is also supported by Against Child Abuse, and is sponsored and supported by Save the Children.