FONPC has launched the Journalist's White Charter, a document where children talk directly to journalists about the needs they have to feel truly safe. We live in a deeply digitalised world, where the dangers children are exposed to are evolving every day. It is the responsibility of adults to create a comfortable environment for children, while contributing to their independence by promoting informed participation in decisions that affect them. In the Charter launch panel, Ana Maria Ciobanu, journalist, shared with the audience some tips learned from her own experience working with vulnerable children, and Alexandra Temea, FONPC Youth and Children's Council Representative, outlined the four important criteria for setting up a safe space in an interview:
- consent of the minor
- presence of trusted persons
- and paraphrasing
"The suffering or hardship of child victims must be treated sensitively and not diminished or exaggerated. It is important that journalists do not ask children to tell a story or play a role in order to elicit a reaction from the public." - Alexandra Temea, FONPC Youth and Children's Council.
The charter can be signed electronically by journalists and communication specialists dedicated to protecting children's rights here: https://fonpc.ro/2023/09/20/sustine-carta-alba-a-jurnalistului-pentru-protectia-copiilor/.
FONPC encourages children's civic engagement and interaction with decision-makers and has its own FONPC Youth and Children's Council. "The idea is not to create a select group of young people to work at the top level, but to get rid of hierarchical views and understand that the work of changing public policies can only start at the local level, from contact with the people affected by issues. Local partnerships or local visits should not be treated as campaigning opportunities or mere tick-box activities on social platforms, but as moments of interaction and, most importantly, political action to connect politicians and young people." - Alexandra Radu, FONPC Youth and Children's Council.
The launch event connected the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and the National Agency for the Protection of Children's Rights and Adoption with teenagers from the FONPC Youth and Children's Council. They asked the representatives of the authorities questions on topics such as the state of implementation of the Child Guarantee in Romania, the involvement of young people in the National Plan to Combat School Violence and the protection of children and young people defending human rights. The day ended with working groups around the Child Guarantee Action Plan, a document that promises a comprehensive package of services so that young people can grow up safely, have a healthy diet, a place to play and learn and a warm and protective home. On 11 September, FONPC sent an open letter to the Prime Minister of Romania and the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities in which the Federation calls for urgent action to adopt the Action Plan for the implementation of the Children's Guarantee, which has been delayed for over a year.
The project "THE SHAPE OF CHANGE - Youth and FONPC - dialogue for change" is implemented by the Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations for Children (FONPC) with the financial support of Active Citizens Fund Romania, a programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants 2014-2021.
The aim of the project is to improve the capacity of FONPC and its member organisations to actively involve and encourage the participation of young people in the development and monitoring of public policies concerning children, in the dialogue with public authorities and in influencing decisions concerning children's rights, vulnerable people or people at risk of marginalisation/exclusion, with the aim of empowering authorities, institutions and decision makers and contributing to a democratic culture at local/national level. The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded by EEA Grants 2014-2021.