Child Participation Network

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                  Child Participation Network

                  Caption: Oslo, Lysaker. May 2016.More than 31.000 refugees applied for asylum in Norway in 2015, the majority from Syria and Afghanistan. About one third of them were children, and about 20 % were unaccompanied children.In 2015 Save the Children Norway (Redd Barna) made a study called Hear it from the Children and focused on children and young people between five and 17 years travelling from Syria and Afghanistan and arriving as accompanied or unaccompanied minors in Norway.Altogether 78 children and young people from Syria and Afghanistan participated in the study, among them 12 girls. About half of them came as unaccompanied refugees. All of them were living at transit reception centres in or near Oslo when they took part in the study. The information has been elicited by means of participatory tools.The body map may be used for different purposes, such as to map, document and assesschildren’s (or other groups’) experiences, reflections and priorities in different situations. By looking at all parts of the body, the tool opens up for seeing how a situation mayaffect thinking and feeling, behavior and actions of a group or individual. Guiding questions are used in relation to the different body parts. For example, focusing on the head onemight ask: what did you think of as you were on the flight route; what did you see; what did you hear; what did you smell; and what did you say or what did others say, etc This exercise continues for the rest of the body.

                  Children’s participation is about every child’s opportunity to have opinions, to influence others, especially decision-makers, and to achieve changes. It is important to make people aware of the fact that children have a right to be heard, to influence, and also to promote their own rights. Children’s participation helps increase their involvement in society and is a way to build and strengthen democracy and active participation in society. This is important because participation contributes to children’s personal development and may lead to better decision-making and results, and may serve to protect children.

                  This page contains material developed by Save the Children Norway’s Child Participation Network.

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