Our organisation, the Concerned for Working Children,
has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Parliamentary Committee. Please find here, the link to the announcement by Ms. Linda Hofstad Helleland, Member of the Parliament, India . http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=aTTi4-CMcds Norway
The Concerned for Working Children, has worked on the issue of children’s participation as fundamental rights within the gamut of children’s rights even before the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was drafted and adopted. Though we are a very small organisation, we have managed to have a very large influence on Global Policy and Programmes. In the past 30 years we have taken small steps to enable children to realise this right and have made progress. We have managed to impact on child rights policy and programming both locally and globally, bringing the right to children’s participation and self-determination into focus. Yet, we have a long way to go and so much more needs to be done.
Unfortunately the right to participation of children is barely recognised in the letter and in practice it is largely believed that using compulsion to make children ‘participate’ in services that are provided – be it health care or education – without allowing children to determine the nature and quality of these services, is a fulfilment of children’s rights. We, adults by and large, still think that we know what is best for children and that children don’t. This is why we feel that this is a cross cutting right that enables children to fashion their present and future and shape their lives.
This nomination is a recognition of Children’s’ Right to Participation, one of the most fundamental rights enabling an individual to determine the path of their existence. We intend to use this opportunity to establish a platform to promote discussion and debate worldwide and hope that such a discourse would result in encouraging policy makers and programmers to take serious note and translate this fundamental right of children into practice. It can help to focus attention on an issue that has been largely side lined, not because it is not accepted as a concept, but because organisations and governments are still grappling with how this can be translated into practice - how it can be made real for children, especially the most marginalised and deprived.
The credit for this nomination goes to our primary constituency and partners – working children – and the many battles they have fought in numerous forums at home and around the world for their voices to be heard. Their struggle has always been a peaceful one and one of patience as they continue their crusade in an environment that not only does not recognise them as workers, but has criminalised their work.
Credit also goes to the many people and organisations around the world that have contributed to our vision and strategy and supported our efforts with parallel efforts of their own.
We could not have done this without the support of so many of individuals and organisations around the world who have contributed to our vision and strategies and given us the strength to pursue our goals. They have also at times been our severest critics and we appreciate their inputs and involvement in this cause.