Children’s right to opinion and participation, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is a fundamental right and no one, either parents or teachers or civil society organizations, cannot interfere with it. We also consider that is important for organizations developing activities involving children in public spaces to carry out these activities professionally, ethically and based on an internal child protection policy.
The Alliance of Active NGOs in the field of Child and Family Social Protection (APSCF) took note of the statements made during the hearing of the Ombudsman for the Rights of the Child (in the plenary sitting from 01.11.2018) regarding the participation of children in public actions, and we are concerned about the views that the right of adolescents to participate must be restricted, or even setting harsh legal sanctions in this regard. Statements made by the Ombudsman have been formulated in such a way as to discredit children’s right to opinion and participation in public actions, which jeopardizes the full implementation of the rights of the child and the development of a generation of active citizens.
In this context, we recall that the Republic of Moldova has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has undertaken to guarantee the child the right to express his / her views on any matter that concerns him / her.
The child’s right to be heard and her/his opinion is one of the fundamental values of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Committee on the Rights of the Child has identified Article 12 as one of the four general principles of the Convention, the other being the right to non-discrimination, the right to life and development, and the prioritization of the child’s supreme interest, which emphasizes that this article does not only establish a right but it must be taken into account in the interpretation and implementation of all other rights.