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Category: CHILD PARTICIPATION



VOICES OF ASEAN CHILDREN AND YOUTH: ASEAN Child Rights VDO Competition “Child and Youth Friendly ASEAN”



Background

The two previous ASEAN Children’s Forums held in the Philippines in 2010 and Singapore in 2012 have enchanced the awareness of ASEAN member states on the participation of children and youth in promotion and protection of their rights. Recommendations from the two forums emphasize the continuation of the forum on a regular basis in order to enable ASEAN children and youth to play the leading role in the process. Therefore, Thailand is planningto host the Third ASEAN Children’s Forum to be held in Bangkok in January 2014 using the theme of “Voices of ASEAN Children and Youth” and emphasizing the roles of ASEAN Community and ASEAN children and youth in promotion and protection of child rights through media. In order to enhance the effectiveness of the process, a VDO competitionhas been designed to make use of media as channel for children youth to express their views and raise awareness of decision-makers in ASEAN+3 countries on child rights issue, and link the process with the Third ASEAN Children’s Forum so that recommendations from children and youth can be highlighted through media. Mobilization of children and youth and related organizations as well as related government agencies in each ASEAN+3 countries to implement the competition process is extremely necessary in order to enable extensive participation of children and youth in ASEAN+3 countries. Equally essential is the collaboration and support from regional-level entities: Committee for ASEAN Youth Cooperation (CAYC) and ASEAN Secretariat. Therefore, Thailand’s National Council for Child and Youth Development  in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and strong support from CAYC and ASEAN Secretariat is organizing The ASEAN Child Rights VDO Competition during June-September 2013 and inviting  all 10 ASEAN countries plus China, Korea and  Japan to actively participate in the process. The outcomes of this competition will be integrated with the results of the Third ASEAN Children’s Forum and disseminated throughout ASEAN and the plus 3 countries for policy and plan development in order to promote and protect child rights at national and regional levels.

Competition Theme

The theme of VDO competition is “Child and Youth Friendly ASEAN” which can be interpreted in several aspects for examples:

        1. ASEAN Community which has strong awareness and commitment to promote and protect the rights of children and youth.
        2. What and how children and youth can benefit from the establishment of ASEAN Community.
        3. What adults in ASEAN Community can do to enable their children and youth to live safely, happily and productively in ASEAN Community.
        4. How can children and youth participate in decision-making process of ASEAN Community.
        5. Other related issues as perceived by competing children and youth.

Competition Targets

1. Direct Target

  • At least 500 children and youth aged between 12-25 years who send in their entries.

2. Indirect Target

  • At least 5,000 children and youth in ASEAN+3 countries are aware of the competition process through public information dissemination.
  • At least 13 child and youth organizations in ASEAN+3 countries participate in the process at national and regional levels.

Time Frame

Competition’s time frame is between June-September 2013 (4 month).


Case Studies on Child Participation in the Philippines (An Executive Summary)



After ten years of existence as a National Committee On Child and Youth Participation (NCCYP) and after eight years since the formulation of the National Framework on CYP, a research was proposed to document the ways by which children exercise their right to participation and the kinds of environment that facilitate meaningful and effective participation. The research was also expected to assess the extent to which the national framework on child participation has been useful to implementing agencies.

The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and the National Committee on Child and Youth Participation commissioned a research to review and analyze the promotion of child participation in the Philippines. This was undertaken through four case studies of selected child participation interventions of member agencies of the NCCYP. This study aimed to achieve the following objectives:

1. To document and analyze child participation practices demonstrated in programs and projects of the members of the NCCYP with an assessment of connecting and dividing factors in the following areas of concerns:

· Process of participation

· Quality of participation

· Effects of participation to the child’s other rights

· Readiness of the child-focused organizations in providing/facilitating opportunities for child participation (e.g. vision of the agency on child participation, child participation policy, training of staff, opportunities for child participation, etc.)

2. To determine the usefulness of the National Framework on Child Participation and to come up with policy recommendations as inputs to its possible revision.

CWC, NCCYP and the researcher selected four member-agencies of the Committee for the case studies based on target children sectors, geographic representation (one agency in Mindanao, one in the Visayas and one in Luzon) and on available resources for research. The agencies selected were ChildFund, ERDA and TATAG Inc. By default, the Children Basic Sector (CBS) of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) was selected because of its unique character. The Council for the Welfare of Children was considered as its agency being the government arm that provides technical assistance to the council representative

The respondents in each of the case studies were sampled such that a rationally appropriate balance was achieved in terms of the following representation of boys and girls, age bracket, as appropriate, geographic origin, children-adults and urban and rural setting.

The study was participative and analytical in both qualitative and quantitative aspects. It employed inter-active processes that engaged those who were actually involved in child participation initiatives and those who were affected by it. The study applied the principles of triangulation, appreciative inquiry with strong stakeholders’ participation. A national data validation was conducted with the NCCYP and the CWC

The key findings of the study in terms of impact and level of child and youth participation are as follows:

1. The participation of children and youth in various activities in their own community-based associations and in various undertakings initiated by their respective sponsor-agencies has been able to create affirmative and encouraging impact among children.  These were clearly illustrated in terms of changes in personality, attitude and behavior, relationship with family, friends, peers, adults and with the community as a whole.

2. More specifically, CYP has been able to create changes in children’s level of awareness of their rights, expressive skills, self-confidence and self-esteem, and desirable social behavior.  The children’s responses demonstrated strong emphasis on development and enhancement of their social-orientation and social skills. CYP had a positive impact not only on children but also on their parents, teachers, community leaders and agency workers.

3. Because of these changes, the children said they were more in a position now to protect themselves from potential abuse or exploitation. The researcher still believes that child protection measures and policy should be built in the CYP programmes.

4. In various activities where children were engaged, children were able to play different roles at different levels of involvement. However, there was a general weakness in assessment and analysis of community issues, and in monitoring and evaluation.

5. Gender differentiation in terms of roles children played was not an issue.  The participation of disadvantaged groups of children did not come out as a concern as the children themselves came from poor families and disadvantaged communities.

6. Child participation in NAPC-CBS, as it were, may be considered participation at the highest level because of the sectoral representative’s engagement in governance and policy formulation.  In the process, however, the children were forced by circumstance to sacrifice some aspects of their childhood and the exercise of some of their rights as children.  They were also exposed to adult-led and adult-managed condition that was seemingly opposed to the promotion of child-friendly environment.

The key findings related to programming for CYP are as follows:

1. All four agencies under study considered CYP an important concern of their programmes. However, the level and clarity of articulation of CYP in their VMG and structure varied. CYP was more strongly reflected in the goals of the agencies. None of the four agencies made direct reference to the CRC or child participation as a right. As a separate government entity, CWC has yet to formulate its own vision of child participation.

2. Only CWC and ChildFund have specifically assigned focal person on CYP. The focal person in CWC has very specific job description. There was no focal person in TATAG and ERDA. There was no specific budget for CYP in all the agencies.

3. The agency workers have incomplete understanding of the concept, principles and practice of CYP. They received very little training or no training at all on the promotion and fulfillment of CYP. There was no plan to conduct training on CYP for social workers who have been working with children. There was little resource training materials on CYP. Only Childfund had a training module specifically on CYP.

4. There was no discreet monitoring and evaluation system for CYP in all the case studies. Only ChildFund had some monitoring indicators relevant to CYP.  But even these have no variable that will measure the quality, depth and level of child and youth participation.

5. There were a number of programmatic issues and concerns that the NCCYP and the implementing agencies needed to seriously look into such as the issue of institutionalizing CYP into the agency programme design, budget and structure, capacity building of field workers, absence of adequate orientation and training modules on CYP, integration of CYP in the monitoring and evaluation system, and sustainability and scaling up.

In terms of the National Framework on CYP, the key findings are as follows:

1. The National Framework on Child and Youth Participation is a good document and by itself, is adequate enough to guide any institution in developing an effective child participation project.  It is also rich in programmatic principles that can guide practitioners in mainstreaming child and youth participation in existing programmes and services for children.

2. However, the Framework has very low familiarity and utility particularly among the four agencies in the study and among the members of the NCCYP and CWC because they seemed to have fallen short in popularizing its use. The circulation was also very limited.

3. Throughout the years since the production of the Framework, there has been several CYP interventions by various agencies in the country that needed to be interwoven into the framework for a broader range of possibilities in the promotion of participation right.

4. There were emerging rights-based issues that needed to be addressed in the framework such as equity, child-friendly work environment, child participation intervention appropriate for children, rationalized representation of children in national forums, results indicators, etc.

Some of the key recommendations for the four agencies are as follows:

1. Revisit and revise, if necessary, the VMG of the agencies to properly articulate the agency’s real concern for CYP.  They should define their discreet strategies and mechanisms to ensure genuine CYP.

2. Identify a CYP focal person in the office with expertise on CYP and with very specific task of providing technical assistance to the implementation of CYP.

3. Develop a monitoring and evaluation mechanism for CYP with SMART indicators and monitoring checklist to ensure effective programme management.

4. Provide specific training for children on assessment and analysis, visioning, planning, advocacy and communication, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, as appropriate and according to their evolving capacity. Develop a systematic capacity building of adults involved in CYP.

5. CWC should seriously consider the findings of the case study on NAPC-CBS, to effectively address the issues and concerns raised by the former sectoral representatives so that the new elected ones will not be subjected to the same undesirable experiences.

The report also offers some general recommendation to further the promotion CYP in the Philippines, as follows:

1. For CWC and NCCYP to review, revise and re-design the National Framework on Child and Youth Participation and push for its translation into a government policy to institutionalize it further in various departments of the government at national and sub-national levels.

2. NCCYP to pro-actively promote the institutionalization of CYP integrating it in the National Plan of Action (NPAC) with defined institutional programmes and resource commitments to CYP, as well as, a clear and workable monitoring system to accompany it.

3. For CWC and NCCYP to organize a national forum for sharing and exchange of use of reference materials, training modules, orientation packages, operational guides, or pamphlets on CYP. CWC and NCCYP do not have to “re-invent the wheel” so to speak.

4. Expand the membership of the NCCYP to include the children sectoral representatives, NACCAP, and other relevant federation of children’s association in other regions.

5. Together, CWC and NCCYP should be able to advocate for CYP at home, school, Barangay, community, etc. A mix of programme communication materials such as practical handbook in comic form, poster, drama, radio plug on CYP will be useful in addressing this concern.

6. Support the development of a guidebook on child and youth participation designed specifically for children and youth be developed to keep them aware of their participation right and to encourage them to fulfill this right in effective and meaningful ways.

7. In terms of child participation specifically in governance, CWC and NCCYP should devise a capability building programme strategy to strengthen children’s participation in government structures mandating the representation of children such as NAPC-CBS, the NCCECCD, the RSCWC, the Provincial/City/ Municipal/Barangay Council for the Welfare of Children and other government and private institutions.

Contact the Author:

Henry R. Ruiz, PhD

P106 SouthStar Plaza

Bangkal, Makati City

Philippines

henryruiz02@yahoo.com

02-8942232

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Marissa Navales

Council for the Welfare of children

All opinions are of the author’s and do not reflect CWCs policies and opinions. Any discrepancy is the sole responsibility of the writer.


After ten years of existence as a National Committee On Child and Youth Participation (NCCYP) and after eight years since the formulation of the National Framework on CYP, a research was proposed to document the ways by which children exercise their right to participation and the kinds of environment that facilitate meaningful and effective participation. The research was also expected to assess the extent to which the national framework on child participation has been useful to implementing agencies.

The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and the National Committee on Child and Youth Participation commissioned a research to review and analyze the promotion of child participation in the Philippines. This was undertaken through four case studies of selected child participation interventions of member agencies of the NCCYP. This study aimed to achieve the following objectives:

1. To document and analyze child participation practices demonstrated in programs and projects of the members of the NCCYP with an assessment of connecting and dividing factors in the following areas of concerns:

· Process of participation

· Quality of participation

· Effects of participation to the child’s other rights

· Readiness of the child-focused organizations in providing/facilitating opportunities for child participation (e.g. vision of the agency on child participation, child participation policy, training of staff, opportunities for child participation, etc.)

2. To determine the usefulness of the National Framework on Child Participation and to come up with policy recommendations as inputs to its possible revision.

CWC, NCCYP and the researcher selected four member-agencies of the Committee for the case studies based on target children sectors, geographic representation (one agency in Mindanao, one in the Visayas and one in Luzon) and on available resources for research. The agencies selected were ChildFund, ERDA and TATAG Inc. By default, the Children Basic Sector (CBS) of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) was selected because of its unique character. The Council for the Welfare of Children was considered as its agency being the government arm that provides technical assistance to the council representative

The respondents in each of the case studies were sampled such that a rationally appropriate balance was achieved in terms of the following representation of boys and girls, age bracket, as appropriate, geographic origin, children-adults and urban and rural setting.

The study was participative and analytical in both qualitative and quantitative aspects. It employed inter-active processes that engaged those who were actually involved in child participation initiatives and those who were affected by it. The study applied the principles of triangulation, appreciative inquiry with strong stakeholders’ participation. A national data validation was conducted with the NCCYP and the CWC

The key findings of the study in terms of impact and level of child and youth participation are as follows:

1. The participation of children and youth in various activities in their own community-based associations and in various undertakings initiated by their respective sponsor-agencies has been able to create affirmative and encouraging impact among children.  These were clearly illustrated in terms of changes in personality, attitude and behavior, relationship with family, friends, peers, adults and with the community as a whole.

2. More specifically, CYP has been able to create changes in children’s level of awareness of their rights, expressive skills, self-confidence and self-esteem, and desirable social behavior.  The children’s responses demonstrated strong emphasis on development and enhancement of their social-orientation and social skills. CYP had a positive impact not only on children but also on their parents, teachers, community leaders and agency workers.

3. Because of these changes, the children said they were more in a position now to protect themselves from potential abuse or exploitation. The researcher still believes that child protection measures and policy should be built in the CYP programmes.

5. In various activities where children were engaged, children were able to play different roles at different levels of involvement. However, there was a general weakness in assessment and analysis of community issues, and in monitoring and evaluation.

6. Gender differentiation in terms of roles children played was not an issue.  The participation of disadvantaged groups of children did not come out as a concern as the children themselves came from poor families and disadvantaged communities.

7. Child participation in NAPC-CBS, as it were, may be considered participation at the highest level because of the sectoral representative’s engagement in governance and policy formulation.  In the process, however, the children were forced by circumstance to sacrifice some aspects of their childhood and the exercise of some of their rights as children.  They were also exposed to adult-led and adult-managed condition that was seemingly opposed to the promotion of child-friendly environment.

The key findings related to programming for CYP are as follows:

1. All four agencies under study considered CYP an important concern of their programmes. However, the level and clarity of articulation of CYP in their VMG and structure varied. CYP was more strongly reflected in the goals of the agencies. None of the four agencies made direct reference to the CRC or child participation as a right. As a separate government entity, CWC has yet to formulate its own vision of child participation.

2. Only CWC and ChildFund have specifically assigned focal person on CYP. The focal person in CWC has very specific job description. There was no focal person in TATAG and ERDA. There was no specific budget for CYP in all the agencies.

3. The agency workers have incomplete understanding of the concept, principles and practice of CYP. They received very little training or no training at all on the promotion and fulfillment of CYP. There was no plan to conduct training on CYP for social workers who have been working with children. There was little resource training materials on CYP. Only Childfund had a training module specifically on CYP.

4. There was no discreet monitoring and evaluation system for CYP in all the case studies. Only ChildFund had some monitoring indicators relevant to CYP.  But even these have no variable that will measure the quality, depth and level of child and youth participation.

5. There were a number of programmatic issues and concerns that the NCCYP and the implementing agencies needed to seriously look into such as the issue of institutionalizing CYP into the agency programme design, budget and structure, capacity building of field workers, absence of adequate orientation and training modules on CYP, integration of CYP in the monitoring and evaluation system, and sustainability and scaling up.

In terms of the National Framework on CYP, the key findings are as follows:

1. The National Framework on Child and Youth Participation is a good document and by itself, is adequate enough to guide any institution in developing an effective child participation project.  It is also rich in programmatic principles that can guide practitioners in mainstreaming child and youth participation in existing programmes and services for children.

2. However, the Framework has very low familiarity and utility particularly among the four agencies in the study and among the members of the NCCYP and CWC because they seemed to have fallen short in popularizing its use. The circulation was also very limited.

3. Throughout the years since the production of the Framework, there has been several CYP interventions by various agencies in the country that needed to be interwoven into the framework for a broader range of possibilities in the promotion of participation right.

4. There were emerging rights-based issues that needed to be addressed in the framework such as equity, child-friendly work environment, child participation intervention appropriate for children, rationalized representation of children in national forums, results indicators, etc.

Some of the key recommendations for the four agencies are as follows:

1. Revisit and revise, if necessary, the VMG of the agencies to properly articulate the agency’s real concern for CYP.  They should define their discreet strategies and mechanisms to ensure genuine CYP.

2. Identify a CYP focal person in the office with expertise on CYP and with very specific task of providing technical assistance to the implementation of CYP.

6. Develop a monitoring and evaluation mechanism for CYP with SMART indicators and monitoring checklist to ensure effective programme management.

8. Provide specific training for children on assessment and analysis, visioning, planning, advocacy and communication, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, as appropriate and according to their evolving capacity. Develop a systematic capacity building of adults involved in CYP.

6. CWC should seriously consider the findings of the case study on NAPC-CBS, to effectively address the issues and concerns raised by the former sectoral representatives so that the new elected ones will not be subjected to the same undesirable experiences.

The report also offers some general recommendation to further the promotion CYP in the Philippines, as follows:

1. For CWC and NCCYP to review, revise and re-design the National Framework on Child and Youth Participation and push for its translation into a government policy to institutionalize it further in various departments of the government at national and sub-national levels.

2. NCCYP to pro-actively promote the institutionalization of CYP integrating it in the National Plan of Action (NPAC) with defined institutional programmes and resource commitments to CYP, as well as, a clear and workable monitoring system to accompany it.

3. For CWC and NCCYP to organize a national forum for sharing and exchange of use of reference materials, training modules, orientation packages, operational guides, or pamphlets on CYP. CWC and NCCYP do not have to “re-invent the wheel” so to speak.

4. Expand the membership of the NCCYP to include the children sectoral representatives, NACCAP, and other relevant federation of children’s association in other regions.

5. Together, CWC and NCCYP should be able to advocate for CYP at home, school, Barangay, community, etc. A mix of programme communication materials such as practical handbook in comic form, poster, drama, radio plug on CYP will be useful in addressing this concern.

6. Support the development of a guidebook on child and youth participation designed specifically for children and youth be developed to keep them aware of their participation right and to encourage them to fulfill this right in effective and meaningful ways.

7. In terms of child participation specifically in governance, CWC and NCCYP should devise a capability building programme strategy to strengthen children’s participation in government structures mandating the representation of children such as NAPC-CBS, the NCCECCD, the RSCWC, the Provincial/City/ Municipal/Barangay Council for the Welfare of Children and other government and private institutions.


ACF and 7th AMMSWD



The First ASEAN Children’s Forum (ACF) was successfully held in Clark, Pampanga, Philippines last October 19-22, 2010. This is seen as a significant venue for children’s participation in the regional arena where child participation is institutionalized and considered to be the “regional voice” for children in the ASEAN.

The Forum was attended by thirty-two (32) children accompanied by their mentors from ASEAN Member States. The Philippines informed the meeting that of these 32 children aged between 13 to 20, there were seven (7) children with disabilities.

The Forum aimed to be the voice and venue of children’s opinions in addressing issues of children in Southeast Asia and build friendships and mutual understanding among the children. The participating ACF Child Delegates made the Recommendations for the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the ASEAN Children’s Forum and the Action Proposals on what they will do after the Forum in the areas of internet, environment, children’s participation, children with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, poverty and child labor. The children’s output documents include their recommendations and action proposals.

Child Representatives from the Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines delivered the outcome of the ACF before the Ministers at the Opening Ceremony of the 7th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD). The Children updated the Meeting with the outputs and conduct of the First ACF by presenting the children’s recommendations for the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the ACF.

The Children’s Meeting with the Ministers was a success and agreements included the decision that the ACF will be convened biennially and hosting of the Forum will be rotated among ASEAN Member States in an alphabetical order. Singapore, during the meeting, generously offered to host the Second ACF in 2012.

The AMMSWD agreed that the ASEAN Secretariat would assist and develop the TOR of the ACF based on the recommendations of the children. The meeting noted the experiences and lessons learned from the Philippines, as organizers, would be utilized as feedback in hosting the Forum in the future.

The ACF is seen as the channel where where children can express their views on urgent regional issues and how these can be resolved by governments with genuine children participation.


First ACF Video Documentation




Children Shows in Philippine TV



Hi friends! I’m Nicai de Guzman, one of the Kabataan News Network (Youth News Network) reporters during the ACF. (I’m the one who celebrated her birthday during the workshop! :P)

Being a part of KNN is definitely a privilege because I can truly say that it is genuine youth participation in media. Unfortunately, our show does not air anymore / gets to be shown in television anymore. The fact of the matter is, a lot of the “real” children or youth-oriented shows do not air anymore either.

Back in the 90s, there were actually a lot of children shows here in the Philippines. These were shows that are hosted by Filipino kids and aim to teach young children and teens alike about values and social issues. I was also a reporter for one of these shows and I can attest that kids my age that time really got to learn a lot from shows like ours.

Now, there are very few children shows left because they are replaced by cartoons that are imported from abroad. When I asked my media professors what the effect of this change on today’s children might be, they all agreed that the Filipino children may lose their sense of nationality and identity. Instead of watching kids who look like them, who teaches them Filipino values, they will see Dora and a talking monkey or Spongebob under the sea. I have nothing against these cartoons but I think there really is a need to put more educational and truly Filipino children shows back in Philippine TV.

Many may argue that kids today are more into computer but here in the Philippines, not a lot of kids have access to computers still and the younger kids, those in elementary, may not even have the money to rent a computer in internet cafes. So a lot of kids are still hooked to television and many homes still consider TV as their main source of news and entertainment.

I think this is why to reach these kids in their developmental years, television is still a powerful tool… But television being a big business, it is disheartening that a lot of major networks (one of which I currently work for, actually) would choose to air shows that do not exactly teach good values to children because these earn more. An example of this are noon time shows that would exhibit ladies who are almost naked and dancing on stage. Well, that’s Philippine television for you. It’s kind of sad but I believe that there can still be done about it and as long as there are children rights advocates like us, we can always do something.

Now, I’m still working with KNN as a testament to my advocacy. One day, who knows, I may produce my own children show, much like the ones we had back in our day.


Introduction – Aditya INDONESIA :)



Halo ASEAN! Apa kabar?! (Bahasa form of Halo ASEAN! How are you) J

Well yeah first of all I’d like to say hello for all. Frankly I feel so sorry for being this late on starting post something in this blog. But it will not reduce my spirit for post this one though.

Here as the first time I post, i’d like to introduce myself. My name is Aditya Gilank Pratama. Together with Aan Fajar Lestari and Tiara Permata Chandra, I am a delegate from Indonesia on the recent Asean Children Forum. (Ah I miss those event anyway. Quite a memorable moments ever!). Well, three of us are chosen by our government cause of some considerations with our activeness on being a children’s rights vocalizer as the main one. And for we have taken part on the Indonesia Children Forum though.

From 2009, I am a chairman of an Indonesian young writer community named KREATif (Komunitas Remaja Pena Anak Kreatif). It is a young writer community promoting children’s right which has activities on it dominating by writing stuffs. (Later on the next post I will talk more about my Community. Take my words! Hehe)

About my education. Well yeah I had actually graduated from High School this year. But haven’t made it yet going to college. Due to my fail on the selection of becoming a student on University Of Indonesia (top university in Indonesia). And now I am having course as the preparation for the selection next year. Sad? At first yeah, but I realized yet that God does have Plans. And his plans are Amazing!

If I made it on those selection maybe on 19-22 October I was just sitting on a coffe shop doing loads of tasks given by my lecturers. :p In fact…I WAS ON ACF!!!

Yea, being a part of ASEAN Children Forum is one of the sweet backup plan that God gave to me. So grateful I am for being able to be there. I got so much things… capacity buliding, experiences, materials for writing, documentary stuffs, and the most important one is Friends! Yeah, the delegates, facilitators, mentors, and all people related to those events. You guys were Awesome!

Just for information, my birthday is on 18th October. So that I am gonna say that Being a part of ASEAN CHILDREN FORUM was the greatest birthday present ever for this year! MABUHAY!!!  \(^o^)/


What is your most memorable / most favorite experience in ACF?




“Sharing languages. Always having awesome energizers! Fun activities, pleasant noises, colorful environments. Waiting for our bus to come every day.” – Brunei delegation

“The power and participation of children to share their opinion and their abilities.” – Thailand delegation

“My favorites are Workshop 1 and Workshop 2 as we have discussed children’s issues which are very important.” – Aussy, Lao PDR

“Friendship and sharing opinions.” – Vietnam delegation

“I am amazed that every country has its own issues and concerns. I already know that the issues in the Philippines have similarity with those of other countries’. Hopefully I am enlightened by their sharings.” – Ven’z, Philippines


“My favorite part is knowing about each other who come from the ASEAN. I’m also interested in many cultures.” – Somsuck, LAO PDR

“Break times! These were the moments that we don’t do anything rather than to socialize with the other delegates. These were also the times when we build friendships.” – Jio, Philippines

“Our stay in the villa and the ASEAN Cultural Night.” – Myanmar delegation

“ASEAN Night. I’m really proud to be part of the ASEAN Night and ASEAN itself. When I performed the Yakan Cultural Dance, it was a really great and an unforgettable experience.” – Al-My, Philippines

“All young facilitators are very friendly. Accommodation is very good.” – Cambodia delegation

“Getting to experience other cultures and warmth of the Philippines. Seeing what NGOs in the Philippines are like.” – Lydia, Singapore mentor

“ASEAN Night because all of the ASEAN countries are having fun and exchanging our amazing culture.” – Nicky, Lao PDR

“Field visit, the outdoor activities.” – John, Indonesia

“Our trip to Lingap Pangkabataan is really an eye opener for me. In Singapore, I will never see or hardly see child labor and squatters. The living condition there made me realize never take things for granted.” – Annabel, Singapore

“Visit to the center for children with mental disability” – Wahid, Brunei mentor

“When I met and talked with the other ACF delegates. It was a privilege to be with them for five days. Also, the workshop that we did in BASECO Field Trip touched me so much and inspired me to continue being a children’s rights advocate” – Chris, Philippines

“The whole experience on this whole journey is very enriching and refreshing on my personal perspective. There are very little children participation initiatives in Singapore and this trip helped me think about how children’s participation can be incorporated in my work. I agree that children should be their own master; they should be given a voice to share their thoughts and views to adult through guidance and mentoring.” – Billy, Singapore mentor

“With regards to the trip to Save the Children organization, I have witnessed the strong engagement of children in efforts to take charge of issues surrounding their fellow children and community. I have also realized that the power of children is unlimited and that it is up to them to decide how much they want to contribute to their community and fellow children.” – Lok-San, Singapore





CHILDREN’S PARTICIPATION



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is open to listen to what the children have to say.  On October 19-23, 2010, a regional forum of young people coming from the ten member states of ASEAN will be gathering in Fontana Leisure Parks in Clark Freeport in Pampanga to discuss how children can contribute in finding solutions to issues and concerns affecting children in the region.   Hopefully through the ASEAN Children’s Forum, the children can help in transforming vision to action.

Children’s Participation is not a project, it is not event based; it is a running theme through every action or intervention and it requires a major paradigm shift. The understanding of participation and the way it is translated into action varies and seems to be defined by the socio-cultural context of the child and the ideological frame surrounding this understanding.  Child participation is perhaps a concept that is the most misunderstood and a right that is the most difficult to ensure. The reasons for this are many, and are strongly rooted in the traditional view of children in almost all societies. Let me just briefly mention some of the reasons. Childhood was not recognized as a distinct phase of life before the seventeenth century. Children are viewed as ‘immature, irrational, incompetent, asocial, and acultural’. On the other hand, adults were viewed as ‘mature, rational, competent, social, and autonomous’. . Parents in particular and adults in general, believed that since children are immature, that they were their “property” that they had to look out for them. Meaning that, it was the adults who had the power and duty to make all the decisions, because it was in best interests of the children. Ironically, despite this type of a view, children had always contributed to the economic development of the family and ultimately to the society as a whole. Why not let just work hand in hand? Adults on the other side and children on the other side, too… forming an effective solution to different issues concerning our lives and for us to build a better nation.


Welcome to Asean Children’s Forum Blog Site



The ASEAN Children’s Forum serves as the regional voice for children in the ASEAN and a channel where children can express their views on urgent regional issues and how these can be resolved by governments with children and young people’s participation. It is also seen as a channel where children’s rights can be advocated and promoted for the ASEAN region.

The Children’s Forum shall serve as a mechanism for children’s involvement’s within the ASEAN structure through the Senior Officials Meeting and the Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD/AMMSWD). Agreements and children’s recommendations derived from the Children’s Forum will be deliberated at the SOM level and raised to the Ministerial level for appropriate consideration and action.