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IMCITIZEN – Boosting children’s participation as citizens

Around 40 children, representing more than 1750, will participate in the IMCITIZEN meeting to boost children’s participation through the creation of participation platforms.

– Led by the University of Barcelona, the European project IMCITIZEN (CERV-2022-Child) fosters children’s citizenship identity as active and committed members of their community and identifies strategies that favour increased decision-making.

– The meeting will take place in Barcelona from Friday, January 19 to Sunday, January 21.

This upcoming Friday, January 19, Barcelona will be the stage for a significant gathering that will bring together around 40 young people aged 9 to 12, representatives of ten schools from six municipalities: A Coruña (Galicia), Azuqueca (Guadalajara), Castrillón (Asturias), Mislata (Castellón), Madrid, and, Barcelona. Organized by the European project IMCITIZEN and led by the University of Barcelona, the event aims for children to generate knowledge to shape a Toolbox that will provide the keys for other children’s groups to co-design their child participation platforms.

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IMCITIZEN defines child participation platforms as a form of citizen association that enables children, autonomously and independently, to take part in and advocate for issues that motivate and mobilize them, leading their participation and promoting collective transformations. Their motivation is to improve their municipality or neighbourhood, advocate for their rights, and visualize and exercise their citizenship. These are collectively defined spaces configured by children, enabling various forms of connection and involvement.

During these two days, Barcelona will become the hub for exchanging ideas, where children will share their experiences and the key elements of the co-design process they have undergone. This process is part of a much broader challenge, which is to ensure that children are aware of their right to participate, have more opportunities to be involved in decision-making in their environment, and that the adults accompanying them recognize them as capable of making decisions, contributing to their communities, and engaging in collective transformations.

The meeting, which will take place from January 19-21, will focus on the Exchange of experiences on the co-design process of a child participation platform in their respective schools, how to improve it and how to continue working towards improving their environment and city. Given their experience and knowledge, they are expected to contribute key elements to motivate other children to create similar platforms, thereby increasing the participation of younger people and their impact on the environment.

In this meeting, participants will share their experiences as an IMCITIZEN group in the platform’s design, identify common and distinctive elements from the children’s perspective, and analyse the co-design process to evaluate it. This analysis will culminate in the creation of a virtual toolbox that will guide other children to develop their own platform co-design processes, amplifying opportunities for participation in decision-making and the execution of meaningful projects.

The IMCITIZEN project, at the European level, aims to foster children’s democratic citizenship identity and seeks to have a significant impact on public policies and the education of civic and democratic identity in children. To learn more about IMCITIZEN, you can visit their website: https://www.ub.edu/imcitizen/en/quienes-somos/

Further information: https://www.ub.edu/imcitizen/en/

Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

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