Sunday, 24 February 2008

Minors and young migrants’ involvement in errant mobility and sex work within the European Union

Minors and young migrants’ involvement in errant mobility and sex work within the European Union. By Nick Mai. 2007

The troubling fate of young migrants in Europe is the subject of this research paper by Dr. Nick Mai from the London Metropolitan University, that provides interesting research and an unconventional view on the shortcomings of standard protection mechanisms.

Perhaps, the most important aim of this study is to provide people and institutions carrying out social intervention projects targeting minor and young migrants with strategic qualitative information about their migration projects and the strategies of survival they engage in, with a specific focus on prostitution. With this study, we hope to show that selling sex can be, for some, the only known viable way to meet many combined cultural, economic, psychological and social needs: to be perceived as likeable and successful, to have a sexual outlet, to be independent economically, to find excitement and adventure, to have new experiences, to send money home, to find a suitable accommodation, to receive care and attention, to challenge and receive moral boundaries, to survive, to detach from parents, to grow up.
For social intervention to become an efficient alternative to errance, all of these needs and the reasons and dynamics underlining them must be recognised and addressed at the same time. The research starts from the de-construction of the victimising paradigms (trafficking, exploitation, etc.) shaping research and social intervention targeting unaccompanied minors and errant migrants. Acknowledging the agency of the subjects involved, the complexity of their needs and priority and the reasons at the basis of their affective detachment from ‘home’ is the only way to respond efficiently to their needs through social interventions. (pages 4-5)

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Children as active citizens

The Inter-Agency Working Group on Children’s Participation (IAWGCP)has just published two publications on children’s citizenship:

Children as active citizens - a policy and programme guide for commitments and obligations for children’s civil rights and civic engagement in East Asia and the Pacific

Children as active citizens - an introductory booklet

The ‘Children as Active Citizens’ publications define children’s citizenship and show how children’s civil rights can be operationalised. The publications explain links between children’s citizenship and development goals, between children’s civil rights and their rights to survival, protection and development. Responsibilities of government and adults are clearly listed along with measurable results for children’s civil rights and active citizenship, including indicators for measuring children’s civil rights and citizenship.

Children as Active Citizens presents an agenda for the promotion of children’s civil rights and civic engagement:

Promoting a common understanding of children’s citizenship, civil rights and civic engagement;

Defining programme-specific implications for children’s civil rights and civic engagement (for example in education, child protection, communication, health, emergencies);

Developing global, regional or country-specific agendas for children’s citizenship and civil rights;

Developing systems for monitoring children’s civil rights and civic engagement;

Advocating for wider respect, protection and fulfilment of children’s civil rights, for example on issues of complaints mechanisms for children, early marriage, justice for children, and children’s right to information.

Contents of the booklet:

Introduction to children as active citizens

Birth and civil registration

Expression of opinion and involvement in decisions

Access to information

Complaints mechanisms

Justice for children

Civic engagement and competencies of citizens

Children and the media

Children influencing public decisions

Children-led associations

Content of the programme and policy guide:


Part One: Defining children’s citizenship and civil rights

What is citizenship?

Are children citizens?

Capacities for citizenship

Why are children’s civil rights and citizenship important?

Why have children’s citizenship rights been neglected?

An agenda for children’s citizenship and civil rights

Regional context for children’s citizenship and civil rights

References and resources

Part Two: Operationalizing children’s civil rights

1. Birth and civil registration

2. Children’s expression of opinion and control over decisions in daily life

3. Access to information

4. Feedback and complaints mechanisms

5. Justice for children

6. Economic citizenship and access to resources

Part Three: Developing and practicing active citizenship

7. Citizenship competencies and civic engagement

8. Children as active citizens in the media

9. Children influencing public decisions

10. Children-led associations


Indicator checklist for children’s citizenship and civil rights

Common myths about (and some risks in) children’s participation

Glossary and acronyms