Letter to Friends Around the World – N° 101

Children push us and engage us

In Madrid, the children of the Tapori Ventilla group heard their mothers talking vividly to each other. They were talking about the European Social Charter. But what is this charter? The children decided to find out more. It is not easy to understand a text written for adults, but they decided not to give up: if you don’t know the rights, how can you uphold them? Gradually, they noticed that certain rights were not respected for their neighborhood, such as being protected from poverty and social exclusion, or procedures to limit forced evictions. The children then decided to become journalists-reporters by going out on the street to promote the social charter and ask people about the important rights that were respected, or not, in their neighborhood.

Tapori groups around the world have taken up the same idea: children have reflected on the rights that exist in their communities. They took to the streets in their neighborhood or village and then made features, radio broadcasts, etc. Children have become “Rights reporters” because, they say, “If the adults around us don’t know their rights, how will they take care of us?”

Amazing children pushing us. In their energy, there is an abundant imagination, a desire to learn without limits, a boldness when they are together, a strong sense of justice. They are also aware of their fragility and dependence on the adult world. They do not just claim rights for themselves, they want adults to know their rights and commit themselves together to implement them.

Today the world faces major challenges to which children are particularly vulnerable: the challenge of climate, biodiversity, war, extreme poverty…The International Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which we are celebrating 30 years this year, has brought out the best interests of the child. Children push us to connect the challenges to their rights, to take them up by listening to their voices, by letting us question them, by following them in their demand for a just world. They show us the way to their future. Let’s follow them.

Isabelle Pypaert Perrin
International Leadership Team
ATD Fourth World

Download the full letter and read about:

Youth theatre in Algeria
How to respond to violence
Thoughts of a young person in Peru
Theme for October 17, 2019
United Nation’s Human Rights Building in Geneva

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