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18 April 2024 - News

Scaling up voices of children in decision making

In a determined effort to strengthen child participation at regional, national, and international levels, Save the Children partnered with the Uganda Child Rights NGO Network (UCRNN) to convene a pivotal meeting in Kampala. Held on March 5-6th, the meeting attended by NGOs affiliated with the UCRNN, the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (MGLSD), aimed to reinforce the voices of children in decision-making processes, ensuring their rights are upheld and their perspectives valued.

Save the Children took a lead role in clarifying the parameters of meaningful child participation, expounding on the legal framework, and explaining the rationale behind fostering child involvement in decision-making processes.

Speaking at the meeting, Benjamin Waburoko, child protection and child rights governance specialist at Save the Children said; “We anticipate the establishment of a national child participation mechanism, ensuring decision makers actively hear the voices of children for actionable change,”.

The Senior Probation Officer at MGLSD, Rogers Golooba said the ongoing review of the national child participation strategy aims to ensure full integration at the local government level, where children are directly impacted. Participating NGOs shared diverse initiatives aimed at promoting child participation, while MGLSD provided insights into the status of child participation in Uganda, outlining significant achievements, policy directions, advocacy outcomes as well as challenges and future strategies for scaling up child participation efforts.

To further galvanize efforts, a steering committee dedicated to child participation was established. This committee will deliberate on recommendations about capacity development for partners, fundraising initiatives, and the formulation of a national child participation structure. Additionally, plans were set in motion for mapping out existing child participation platforms at the national level.

Save the Children committed to sharing tools and resources to facilitate the generation of children’s voices in the SDG Voluntary National Review of process through the UCRNN platform. Save the Children and UCRNN further pledged to collaborate closely with the steering committee to develop a roadmap for developing a children’s report to accompany NGO submissions to the UNCRC