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Voices of Europe's Children

Action “The Voices of Europe’s Children”, November 20, 2003

On November 20th 1959 the United Nations adopted the declaration on Children’s Rights and on the same date in 1989 they adopted the Convention on Children’s Rights. Because of this, November 20th has become a day for us to celebrate children’s rights and raise awareness of them all around the world. Many organizations within the IFM-SEI have celebrated this day in their own ways over recent years. However, this year at a seminar in Budapest it was decided that all of IFM should unite and that all organizations should try and do something on this date to try to make a huge event that draws publicity and public attention. Already the Austrian Kinderfreunde have planned an ambitious project in which 500 of their groups and groups from schools will gather and each release 99 balloons, each one attached with a young person’s hope for a better world. Many other projects are being initiated, all with the purpose of uniting children together, to show governments that we do have a voice and we will use it, to show other young people that they can make a difference and they will be heard. We are urging all of the national organisations of IFM to organize something, not just their members, but to get as many young people to participate as possible. Media groups should be contacted to let them know of what’s going on so as to increase publicity. It was decided that we should choose a common item to show our solidarity and thus we agreed on ribbons. Ribbons can be used to show a variety of different things depending on colour; shape etc and we thought it would be a great way to bring us all together. White ribbons for peace, red ribbons to show socialism, green ribbons to show nature, so on and so forth. The ribbons can be used as the centre of the projects. The ideea of Moldovan team was not just to have children meet as a solidarity gesture with the rest of IFM organizations, but to unite both sides of the river Dniestr as a sign of national solidarity. Each with a ribbon with their hopes for a better world written on it. All the ribbons from Moldova would be taken to Transnistria, and vice-versa, so children would find out the hopes of each other. The ribbons would then be tied together in a chain to see how long this chain of ribbons can be, a part of them would be attached to the balloons, another part sent to world leaders with an international message of peace.