The organization Globträdet inaugurated in 2001 a first "Children's Meetingplace" at a large Acacia tree inside the UN headquarters in Nairobi. This with the aim of offering a meeting place for children and young people where they can meet those in power and talk about issues that are important to them; on their terms! Now we take Children's Meetingplace to Helsingborg.
With Children's Meetingplace, we want to create a clearer platform for children and young people to participate in the city's development. The platform idea is partly based on the fact that we have a (physical) place and partly that we fill the place with content. We do this by arranging meetings where the younger generation has conversations with people who make decisions on issues that interest them.
In January 2020, the Convention on the Rights of the Child became law in Sweden. The Convention is an international agreement that states that children are individuals with their own rights.
In Helsingborg, we have come a long way in the child rights work, but there is more to do. In conversations with children and young people in our city, it appears that there are still too many who feel that they are not listened to; that their voices are not heard.
Against this background, a working group was formed consisting of employees from several of the city's operations. Our common driving force is to create better opportunities for children and young people to like and influence issues that affect them.
Together with children and young people in the city, we create a first Children's Meetingplace by a tree in Stadsparken. The physical site will be ready in early 2022.
In the spring of 2021, a first meeting was held (watch movie here). Ahead of the H22 city expo (May 30-July 3, 2022), we in the working group plan to conduct another 3-5 meetings with children and young people on site. The meetings are based on us seeing each other on different themes and exploring different approaches together. Based on the chosen theme, we invite people who are knowledgeable in the area and have the mandate to make decisions. As an invited guest, it is about listening, but also thinking about the best way to take the input further. And of course, to give the children / young people feedback in a way that feels good to them.
In our work, we start from a "learning by doing-think" where we test ourselves and learn afterwards. The meetings are documented and are a valuable basis in this process. Based on the experiences we gain and the lessons we learn, the idea is to make suggestions on how the city could continue to work with children and young people's participation in the slightly longer term.