We promote child participation, we give a powerful voice to the vulnerable and we foster diversity
Who we are
How it all started
Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out children’s right to be heard and have their views taken into account, thus contributing to better communities.
In January 2019, when the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice represented by the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs represented by the Minister for European Affairs, and UNICEF Romania decided to work together during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in order to promote children’s participation rights as EU-wide priorities, Romania appointed four Junior Ambassadors to the EU and the Children’s Board was established.
Our mission and objectives
Children are indeed the future, but they are also part of the present. They are the innovation, inspiration and change that the present so desperately needs. At the Children’s Board, we promote children’s participation in decision-making, we give a powerful voice to the vulnerable and we foster diversity. Guided by the motto ‘Nothing for children without children’, we strive to put our right to be heard and taken seriously on political leaders’ agendas.
Here are some of our projects!
We were involved in the development of the Strategy on the Protection and Promotion of Children’s Rights 2021-2027
The Strategy on the Protection and Promotion of Children’s Rights 2021-2027 was developed based on extensive cooperation between the National Authority for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Children and Adoption (NARPDCA) and the other public institutions responsible for implementing child rights protection and promotion policies, child and student organizations and structures set up for children’s participation in decision-making, civil society organizations providing support services to children, international child rights organizations, academia and other stakeholders.
The development and the monitoring of the Strategy on the Protection and Promotion of Children’s Rights 2021-2027 require the participation of children as direct beneficiaries of the Strategy and as agents of the change it promotes. Thus, along with other children representing structures and organizations that promote the respect for children’s rights and children’s participation in decision-making, we were directly involved in the development of the Strategy, formulating opinions and initial proposals, reviewing the text of the Strategy and proposing amendments within ten discussion groups.
“I think that the project that has contributed the most to my personal development and has opened my eyes to the reality we live in is the development of the National Strategy on the Protection and Promotion of Children's Rights. It gave me the opportunity to raise the issues that I thought were important for my community, such as the lack of an efficient health system in Romanian schools or the lack of safe public places, and I could suggest solutions to address them. Only then did I really feel part of the change to create an environment that supports children’s development in Romania.” - Rafaela, 14 years old
We have shared our experiences and encouraged vaccination
As vaccination is the only way to get through these particularly difficult times for all of us in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wrote an article featuring testimonials from adolescents about why we got vaccinated.
On the U-Report platform, we launched a consultation to gather adolescents’ views and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines.
We have drawn attention to the importance of mental health
We drew attention to the need for emotional balance and for adapting to the changes produced by the COVID-19 pandemic in the #SpunetiOFul and #OnMyMind campaigns.
On the World Children's Day, celebrated on November 20th, we called for children’s right to mental health to become a reality.
We have learned about the importance of media literacy
We have acquired media skills, meant to help us grow and develop a generation of active citizens, through a series of workshops organised by the Independent Journalism Centre and UNICEF Romania. We have learned to make the distinction between information and disinformation, be wary of fake news and protect the others from the effects of the infodemic.
Media Literacy Conference – ‘National Assessment: Media Literacy versus Digital Disinformation’, 14-15 May 2021
With representatives of national and international education authorities, other students, teachers, journalists and civil society activists, and in partnership with the Independent Journalism Centre and UNICEF in Romania, we contributed over two days to a series of debates accessible online to all those interested in media literacy, fighting disinformation and limiting the harmful effects of misinformation.
Conference followers could find out the views of the students who had completed the media literacy workshops, meet teachers who used their creativity to transform classroom teaching, and learn the perspectives of NGOs having contributed to national media literacy efforts for years.
“We are often exposed to opinions in the public space. On TV or social media, different people or personalities share their views and beliefs with us. But we would like to form our own views and for that we need media literacy, so we can analyse the messages we receive on our own”, Teodor, 17 years old.
We were involved in the Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents in Romania
A group of children, aged 12 to 17 years, representing several organisations like the UNICEF-supported Children’s Board, Save the Children, the National Student Council, SOS Children’s Villages and Star of Hope, was set up and involved in the development of the Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents in Romania. During the online meetings, discussions focused mainly on children’s rights to Participation, Health, Social Protection and Education. We had access to both introductory sessions so that we could get familiar with certain information and interactive sessions on children’s participation in decision-making, sociological research, workshops that challenged us to identify the needs and contribute to interview and focus group tools. We also had the opportunity to attend and ask questions during interviews with Members of Parliament and focus groups with representatives of the authorities and non-governmental organisations from the education sector.
“To sum up our meetings, I would say that enthusiasm, trust and empowerment are the words that best describe my experience in this working group. I felt that I was heard all the time and my feedback was really taken into account. Besides that, I realised that what I was saying was important as it would later be used in different stages and processes related to the next steps of the Situation Analysis”- Dragoș, 15 years old
Romania for Every Child Initiative
In November 2021, the Romanian Senate and UNICEF in Romania launched the initiative ‘Romania for Every Child. Making Social Inclusion Real - Breaking the Cycle of Exclusion for the Most Vulnerable Children in Romania’.
“The initiative is intended for all children – younger, older, shy or confident, children who need to go to kindergarten and school, who need to be healthy and protected, who need a chance to develop, to form their views and make them known, children who could use their creativity to make that ideal world a reality. But they need support from all of us” - Oana, 17, panel member at the Initiative kick-off event hosted by the Romanian Senate
Child Friendly Cities Initiative
The Child Friendly Cities Initiative is a UNICEF-led initiative that supports local governments in realising the rights of children at the local level, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Rafaela (Children’s Board) and Robert (National Student Council) are involved as members in the National Coordinating Body of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative in Romania and in an international group of children and adolescents.
We have celebrated important days and moments together!
- On June 1st, we celebrated together children, their voices and childhood at the #Children’sSenate!
- On the National Adoption Day (June 2nd), the Children’s Board participated in a debate that brought together representatives of the authorities and UNICEF, adoptive families and families preparing to adopt.
- For the 30th anniversary of UNICEF in Romania, we have 30 messages from 30 former and current members of the Romanian Children’s Board explaining what the Children’s Board has meant to them.
- At the end of 2021, we looked forward with optimism and hope that in 2022 we would be more numerous, more united and more courageous to continue making a change #ForEveryChild!
We have been involved in international projects
- Together with UNICEF Global and Voices of Youth, we have had the opportunity of working with adolescents around the world to roll out a worldwide campaign covering three main themes: education, environmental protection and mental health. The campaigns have been promoted on social media to reach as many children and adults across the globe.
- At the invitation of our friends from UNICEF Turkey, we participated in a series of live debates with Turkish, Syrian and EU adolescents on topics like child participation, the integration of children with disabilities, environmental protection and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on us, the youth.
- On the International Day of the Girl Child, which is celebrated on the 11th of October every year, a Children’s Board alumna was invited to attend the conference ‘The Time is Now! Girls’ Leadership in the Digital Era’, organised by UNICEF in Turkey. She had the chance to meet and work with young people from all over the world, voicing a call for action at the end of the event – a call for political leaders to advance gender equality, reminding children that they were not alone in their advocacy.