Amidst growing concerns about child abuse and several crimes against children, the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) engaged in a programme to strengthen children’s right to participation and empower them.
A workshop called Children’s Participation in Everyday Lives was organised at Kiran Niketan School Hall, Zuarinagar on September 3, 2023, for 65 children in collaboration with Child Rights in Action and Kiran Niketan.
The workshop forms one small but significant and novel idea of the Commission to promote and strengthen children’s right to participation.
Peter F Borges, Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said, “We need to shift children’s participation from mere tokenism to citizenship. Children have the right to express their views and to have those views considered, according to their age and understanding.”
He also said that everyone, including public bodies and organisations that work with children, has a responsibility to respect that right. Children know what is best and what makes them happy. When they are involved, they can make a difference – for themselves and for their communities.
Facilitator Aditi Salkar pointed out that children are citizens of today and not tomorrow, which is why we need to educate them about their rights and the UNCRC charter.
She said, “The session today was focused on the children realising their dreams, how child rights can enable them to overcome the challenges they face and, importantly, what can they do to make their dreams and child rights a reality sooner rather than later.”
The workshop was facilitated in a participatory manner by Aditi Salkar, a licensed psychotherapist; an NLP trainer and an advanced REBT practitioner, currently working for Child Rights in Action (CRIA) as the Programme and Scientific Director.
Sr Anny Fernandes, Sr Jeryssa Pereira of Kiran Niketan and Prifa Xavier, Santosh Badgari and Rheya Fernandes contributed to the success of the workshop.