The Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance and racism

 

Sponsorship of organizations with social relevancy

The Association for Organizational Development (AOO) is a sponsor of some organizations with social relevancy. Before we gave you information for instance about Child Focus (a member of the network of the Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance), of which organization we use pencils at conferences and training for a number of years now. We contribute to UNICEF by using their post cards with best wishes for the New Year, by purchasing articles and the so called “Do Goodies”. "Alpe d'HuZes: the sponsor bike ride in the fight against cancer"; Princes Maxima, center for child oncology;  Skate4Air, a Dutch organization, that raise money for research into Cystic Fibrosis (CF); OKIN (care of children in need) who organizes a.o. a healthy holiday in families for children from the vicinity of the Chernobyl disaster; the foundation of  Get On, for supporting people in developing countries; support of sponsor runs for purchase of new instruments for orchestras.

This support of the AOO may be financially, can happen in free man hours that we offer to a relevant project, but sometimes happens also in the form of a music performance with volunteers.

In 2015, we are following with interest Child Focus, which, next to actions around the use of the internet and social media by children, has committed itself to the Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance.

On 29th September 2015 the Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance organized an Open Forum in Antwerp on the impact of racism on children.

Racism is an important theme in the field of children's rights. The right of children to freedom from discrimination is one of the most important cornerstones of the Convention on the rights of the child. In addition, children have the right to be protected against all forms of violence, also non-physical forms of violence.

Racism is an unknown theme. There is very little research on the effects of racism and discrimination on the psyche of children. In addition, there are insufficient statistical data available that make structural discrimination visible. There is also a lack of knowledge about what discrimination and racism means, what is punishable or not and where to go when you file a complaint.

Racism is an underrated theme. The under reporting of discrimination and racism, the fact that it is difficult to prove 'legally’, statements about the alleged relativity of racism in the media, the lack of research, ... are all factors that contribute to the grossly underestimation of (the effects of) discrimination and racism in our society.

The impact of racism on children (from 0 to 18 years) is underestimated. 'Very young children (from about 8 years) often do not realize that they are confronted with racism', says Farah Laporte, coordinator of the Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance. 'They notice only that they are being looked at differently. Maybe not being invited to a birthday party. Often they think, indeed when they are still really young, as almost normal. Stories and experiences of children with discrimination and racism are also not always taken seriously. Children (and adults) get too often told: "it was not so intended, don’t bother too much, that's not so bad, don’t react”. Yet the consequences of daily experiences with discrimination and racism are very seriously. They can lead to feelings of inferiority, constant stress, trauma and depression.'

The Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance asks everyone to be extra attentive. 'We have to be extra alert and listen to their stories and experiences, acknowledge them and react appropriately. Every child has the right to protection against discrimination and against all forms of violence,' says Laporte. 'Current events strengthens us in our belief that we have to take care, in every way possible, of a change in mentality. At school, in the free time, with the authorities.'

The conclusions of the open forum have been incorporated into a publication "Children's rights forum, the effects of discrimination and racism on children". In addition to an analysis of the issues involved, there are also (policy) recommendations. These results and recommendations go along in the alternative report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance
The Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance is a network of 28 NGOs that want to ensure compliance with the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), wants to contribute in an active way to the promotion of the rights of the child and wants to contribute actively and constructively to the UNCRC reporting process of compliance.

The Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance does this by information and expertise related to the implementation of the UNCRC and to bring together the network of NGOs, which are working to build and strengthen children's rights, advocacy, lobbying, policy monitoring and communicating the vision and recommendations of the NGOs.

The Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance currently consists of 28 non-governmental children's rights organizations, including Child Focus.
The Flemish Children’s Rights Alliance is member of CRIN, the Child Rights Information Network and associated member of Eurochild

For more information about the other organizations with social relevancy: