This section provides information to children and young
people on child-focused activities that will take place
at the United Nations Special Session on Children, 8-10
The Children's Forum, an important side event of the
Special Session on Children has been rescheduled to
take place in New York City from Sunday 5 to Tuesday
7 May 2002.
The three day Children's Forum will bring together
members of government- and accredited NGO delegations
under the age of 18. The Children's Forum will be facilitated
by UNICEF, in collaboration with the 'Under 18 Participation
Task Force' (U18PTF) of the NGO Steering Committee on
UNICEF and children's groups.
As agreed before, a maximum of two children per government
and two per NGO delegation will attend the Forum. Children
who were invited to participate in September 2001 will
be invited to participate in May. Even though the Forum
is meant for children and adolescents under the age
of 18, those children who were confirmed to participate
and who have turned 18 between September and May will
still be welcome to participate.
Because of limited space and
the large number of children expected to enrol at the
Forum, UNICEF cannot accommodate any new nominations
from NGOs who did not already pre-register children
in September 2001.
Purpose of the Children's Forum
The Children's Forum will aim to:
- Give an opportunity to child participants to share
the recommendations from the preparatory regional
meetings and preparatory committee meetings and to
further explore the issues of the draft Outcome Document
of the Special Session, A
World Fit for Children;
- Enable participants to discuss ways in which they,
as children and young people, can be actively involved
in the implementation and monitoring of the goals
as outlined in the draft Outcome Document;
- Enable participants to identify constructive ways
on how they can influence their governments, UN agencies,
NGO's and other decision-makers on programmes designed
to benefit children.
representatives discuss the Prepcom outcome document
during the third Prepcom (11-15 June 2001)
Child friendly versions of Official Documents
We believe that it is vital that documents for the
Special Session are available in a way that children
and young people can understand. Save the Children has
produced a child friendly version of the draft Outcome
Document (with a dictionary) and child friendly summary
of 'We the Children'. These documents are only available
in English at this time but will also be posted in French
and Spanish. The young person's guide to the United
Nations Special Session on Children is available in
English, French and Spanish.
A young person's guide to: The United Nations Special
Session on Children [word, English,
Child friendly version of the draft outcome document
'A World Fit for Children' [word,
Summary of 'We the Children' [word]
The outcome of the Children's Forum will be presented
to the plenary of the Special Session as decided by
the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of
the General Assembly on Children.
During the Forum, it is expected that the participants
develop their own responses to the Outcome Document
of the Special Session and possible follow-up action.
These will be in line with the ten points of the Rallying
Call of the Global
Movement for Children and the Say
Yes for Children campaign.
For more information on the Children's Forum
Questions and Answers [word]
A briefing for accompanying adults of children attending
the Children's Forum will be held on Sunday 5 May. The
meeting will address issues of protection and security
as well as logistics and will take place in Labouisse
Hall at UNICEF House, right after the opening ceremony
of the Children's Forum, from 11.00-12.00 noon. In addition,
for accompanying adults of children who will not attend
the Children's Forum, a briefing will be held on Tuesday
7 May, 12.45-1.45, 2nd Floor, Church Centre, First Avenue
and 44th Street.
Note on briefing for accompanying adults [word]
A briefing for 'under-18' delegates to the Special
Session who cannot attend the Children's Forum will
be held on Tuesday 7 May.
Note on a briefing for children who cannot attend the
Children's Forum, but who will be in New York [word]
Space and activities for children and young people
during the Special Session on Children
Hamid Braoui, 17, of Algeria, Kelzang Dorjee, 14,
of Bhutan and Mehdi Laouti, 15, of Algeria at the
Labouisse Hall in UNICEF House (3 UN Plaza, 44th Street,
between 1st and 2nd Avenue) will be available as a meeting
place for Under 18 members of delegations during the
three days of the Special Session.
Computers, a copying machine and audio/visual equipment
will be available. Throughout the Special Session there
will be side events in which young people can also take
part. More information on side events will be made available
closer to the time of the Special Session.
Draft agenda of the Children's Forum [pdf
Guidelines on selection and participation [pdf
For any further queries on the Children' s Forum or
child participation in the Special Session on Children,
you may contact Jeannette
Wijnants or Josephine
Rajasegera (Fax (1) 212-824 6470)
Share your experiences and ideas through Voices of
If you cannot attend the Children's Forum and the Special
Session on Children, but you are still interested to
be involved and give your comments, we invite you to
make use of web message board discussions at the UNICEF
youth rights web project, "Voices of Youth".
The purpose of the message board, which is open 24
hours a day and 7 days a week, is to gather young people's
experiences about their activities, realities and challenges.
The message boards--available in three languages--can
be accessed by going to:
In addition, Voices of Youth will be hosting activities
during the Children's Forum and Special Session.
- Profiles and interviews of young experts and activists
- An Internet dialogue/chat as a way to bring the
events to young people who are unable to attend the
Forum and Special Session
- "File your stories"-a way for young people
at the events to give feedback on issues and their
impressions of the events via an on-line form.
For more information on these activities and on "Voices
of Youth" please contact Rosemary
Max (Fax: (1) 212- 824 6481)
Lessons Learned on Children's Participation in Conferences
From observing children's participation in several
international conferences, including regional preparatory
meetings of the Special Session and the Preparatory
Committee meetings, we have learned some of the following
- Children need to have a clear role when taking part
in a conference;
- Children want to be treated as partners when taking
part in a conference where they have been invited
- Children want to be taken seriously by adults;
- Children want to take part in mainstream events,
and not just in parallel activities (this is why the
Children's Forum will take part prior to the Special
Session on Children)
- Children need to be able to meet in their own space,
time and ways appropriate to their age and adults
should accept this.
Young people at the third Prepcom
Some 140 children and young people, under the age
of 18 years, from all around the world were in New York
City to attend the third and final Preparatory Committee
(PrepCom) meeting for the UN Special Session on Children
from 11-15 June. These children and young people were
members of government delegations or delegations of
around 3,500 non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Profiles: young people
at the Prepcom (11-15 June 2001)
Profile: Punish child abusers, says Rishtha
Griselda from El Salvador has no fear
Profile: Liyi comes on
a learning and teaching mission
Getting involved changed Vadim's life
Profile: Kenya's Yvonne speaks for Africa
carries Bhutan children's hopes
Young participants talk to UNICEF's roving
video team about their hopes for the future
of children worldwide and in their home countries.
Check out the complete index
of all UNICEF's Prepcom coverage.