On June 1, the Romanian Senate reopens its doors for all children and encourages their participation
Bucharest, June 1, 2022 - On the occasion of International Children's Day, the Romanian Senate has invited children and parents the „Children's Senate”, a large event dedicated to celebrating the rights and freedoms of children and youth. On Wednesday, between 10:00 and 17:00, guests are having many activities and surprises prepared by the organizer and its partners.
"I am glad that today we are reopening the doors of the Senate to children in a very relevant event for the transparency of this fundamental institution of democracy. Children need to be more and more involved in the decision-making process regarding the issues that concern them, and today we are taking another concrete step in this direction, after, two days ago, Maria and Tudor, members of the Romanian Children's Board, - spoke before the Senate. We want such interventions to become a custom in Parliament", said the President of the Senate, Florin Cîțu, in the opening of the event.
To encourage dialogue between decision-makers and children, the Senate has also set up a children's friendship group so that they can be consulted regularly when legislative action is taken. It is also a way of putting children's concerns on Parliament's agenda.
The children on the Children's Board supported by UNICEF spoke about the importance of children's participation and involvement in decision-making, but also about the problems they face.
"My experience on the Children's Board has taught me that children's participation is a very important element in the evolution and prosperity of a society. We children are part of different generations, each coming up with fresh, innovative ideas about how a fair community should work. Adults need to understand that caring for children should not be the only concern for the latter, but also their involvement in making decisions that affect them directly and not only directly”, said 17-year-old Anda.
"I would like to talk more often about indicators of well-being or indicators of happiness or about indicators of satisfaction in life. These also are important for us ... and for you, the ones who build public policies and laws,” said 15-year-old Tony.
"This year we celebrate again International Children's Day together with the Romanian Senate, together with children, parents and many organizations that defend their rights. It is important to involve children and young people more in decision-making, to increase their participation, so as to increase the well-being of children and the inclusion of the vulnerable. We are pleased that the Senate encourages dialogue between children and decision-makers, including by creating a friendship group and inviting children to submit an annual report to the Senate about the respecting and promotion of children's rights," said Pieter Bult, UNICEF Representative in Romania.
On this occasion, the online platform senatjunior.ro was launched, a tool for children, which explains in an accessible language what the Senate is, how it works, what laws are and how they are created, but also many other information about the legislative process. It is the first website of an institution in Romania dedicated to children.
The Children's Senate event is organized in partnership with many public and private institutions in Romania, including: UNICEF, Save the Children, the Romanian Red Cross, the Hope Shelter, the Romanian Gendarmerie, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Border Police, the Department for Emergency. A significant number of embassies also organize a wide range of cultural, educational and sports activities, in order to capitalize on and encourage the exchange of expertise and vision, so that the voice and involvement of young people become more visible in society and in state institutions.
In addition to the activities that will take place in the courtyard of the Senate, children can participate, in organized groups, in the tour of the interior of the institution and will be able to visit, in addition to the plenary hall, for the first time, the office of the President of the Senate.
About the SenatJunior.ro
Senat Junior, the online platform launched on June 1, explains in a simple, direct and understandable way to children how the Senate works, what the laws are, how they are created and what is the role of the Parliament.
Children will have access to the backstage of legislative procedures and parliamentary activities in general. Civic education will no longer be just another school subject, but a living process of understanding the rights and obligations of a citizen.
Civic education must not remain the sole responsibility of the school, public institutions must exercise their role of informing and educating, including the youngest citizens. The Senate is taking the first step today.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.