On November 20, 2019, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Defence for Children International (DCI) was invited by the Eduki Foundation to a special edition of Young Reporters at the United Nations (UN). Teenagers had the opportunity to discuss different issues related to children’s rights with Cecile Pilot, our Project & Capacity Building Officer at Defence for Children International in Geneva, and Audrey Rinaldi, Child rights specialist at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Several classes of the CEC ANDRÉ-Chavanne, the high school Voltaire and individual students had the opportunity to become journalists for this event asking pertinent and striking questions to the speakers. At the same time, the students were able to see from the inside the Palais des Nations, the historical building that has hosted the United Nations since its foundation, and the League of Nations well before, in the first quarter of the 20th century.
Cecile Pilot presented the work of Defence for Children International on access to justice for children and illustrated with a concrete case on female genital mutilation, explaining this violation of the human rights of women and girls, their rights to health, to be free from violence, to life and physical integrity, to non-discrimination, and to be free from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. She also informed the students about how DCI supports child participation in reporting violations to the UN Committee on the rights of the child, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Universal Periodic Review and seek redress through the use of the individual complaints procedure.
The students then asked a number of very searing questions in a press conference moderated by Catherine Fegli from the United Nations Information Service.
Budding young journalists at the UN
This activity offered by the Eduki Foundation once a month gives young people the opportunity to visit the UN as a budding journalist and attend a press conference organised mainly for them. Speakers and experts from various international organisations are invited to share their expertise on various themes of current affairs. Young reporters attend the press conference, take notes and ask questions as if they were journalists.
During and/or after the conferences, the reporters’ mission is to spread information whether to their class, school or through their personal network. They can do that by writing a press article, participating in a radio programme, making a video report or by being engaged through social networks. This activity can be done individually or as a class.
DCI thanks the Eduki Foundation and the Perception Change Project of the Office of the Director-General of UNOG for the great opportunity and successful collaboration to raise-awareness about our work.