Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Useful link: Magic


Magic has a lot of information in relation to childrens' rights and the media and provides useful resources and links. I especially like their collaboration with oneminutevideo junior . (Recently, however, it has been difficult to access this website - let us hope it is only temporarily).

In 1996 the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which advises governments on their implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child held a consultation on children and the media.

A working group then began to explore the issues involved in developing a positive relationship between children and the media. In 1998, the Norwegian Government and UNICEF initiated a process that would identify examples of good practice, forge cooperative links among the many sectors involved, and produce resources to encourage further developments in the field.

In November 1999, young people involved in media projects, media professionals and child rights experts gathered in the Norwegian capital Oslo to discuss the role the media can play in the development of children's rights throughout the world, under five headings:

• Children's right of access to the media, including new media

• Children's right to media education and literacy

• Children's right to participate in the media

• Children's right to protection from harm in the media and violence on the screen

• The media's role in protecting and promoting children's rights

From their deliberations emerged the Oslo Challenge.

The Oslo Challenge Network was set up for professionals and organizations working in the field of children and the media to share information and ideas. This network - now known as the MAGIC Network - communicates through an email group. If you would like to join this group, just go to the Join MAGIC section of this website.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Children's participation in Latin America

The CYE Journal has just published a new issue (vol. 17, no. 2), which includes 11 new papers on participation with youth in Latin America, guest edited by Yolanda Corona Caraveo and Mara Eugenia Linares Ponton as well as essays on children and nature by Peter Kahn and Emily Stanley, and several book reviews.

The issue includes papers from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, and other countries in Latin America. It is available from the journal's home page on:

Monday, 3 September 2007

Recognising children as social agents

Researching Children’s Morality: developing research methods that allow children’s involvement in discourses relevant to their everyday lives.
by Sam Frankel, in: Childhoods Today Online Journal, Volume 1 Issue 1 - July 2007

The article describes how young children can be involved in research as long as research methods are relevant to the children's own context and understanding. Among other methods, the author details how he developed a questionnaire by combining it with an audio recording that not only captured interest of the children but also resulted in accurate processing and a high response to the questions. The research makes a case to see children as social agents, "who draw and develop meaning based on their own social experiences. Without this move to engage children in the context of the social world they inhabit, policy and practice will remain based on generalisations, clouded by adult perceptions of childhood (Mayall, 2002; Oakley, 1994)." (p.21)

From the journal:

Abstract: Contemporary children’s childhoods are full of discourses about children and right and wrong. However, the foundation for these moral debates is often based on adult assumptions about children rather than reliable knowledge obtained from them. This article therefore seeks to explore ways in which children can be involved in the research process, such that their voices can be heard. Through looking at a number of creative research it argues that children can be competent and legitimate research partners within moral discourses, providing data that can inform more effective policy and practice.


The research

".... looked at the way in which children experience morality within their everyday lives and endeavours to explore ways in which children as social agents can be legitimate and competent partners in a quest for understanding. Such work can then be used as a foundation for policy makers to move away from a reliance on adult assumptions, allowing them to draw on reliable knowledge of children’s childhoods."


Saturday, 1 September 2007

Children's participation in China

From Performance to Practice: Changing the Meaning of Child Participation in China by Andy West, Chen Xue Mei, Zhou Ye, Zhang Chun Na, Chen Qiang, in Children, Youth and Environments 17(1): 14-32.

Andy West and his colleagues have written an excellent article that gives a good insight in the concept and practice of children's participation in modern China.

The article discusses some recent developments in children’s participation in China, indicating a shift is taking place in the meaning of the term “participation,” away from the traditional idea of participation as performance, which fits with school and other childhood cultures, toward taking children more seriously.

The authors describe how children's participation has been advocated in the social, cultural and political context of China focusing on how it can be done and how it can make a difference in research and working with children.

“However, arguing for children’s participation as a right is probably neither the only nor the best strategy: there must also be some demonstration of what participation is and how it can be achieved.”


“Training alone has not been successful in changing the notion of participation from one of performance and activities to acceptance of true participation as a right. Recognition of practical, useful forms of participation by adults in positions of authority was a necessary starting point. These forms include children being consulted and involved in decisions on matters to do with community, school management, and where children live. The institutionalization of such participation requires changing adult practice and attitudes.
This need to develop practical participation work still requires basic training and understanding. However, the need to show how participation can be done must also avoid the trap of providing ready-made recipes.” (p.9)

The article also accounts of what is “probably the first child- and youth-operated organization in China: called “Springbud Service Station for Disabled Children and Young People,” founded in 2004 and registered in 2005.