The third world meeting in Siena (Italy), 2006

After the first two meetings in Kundapur and Berlin, the third world meeting of the movement of working children and youth took place in 2006. In addition to exchanging information on content and structural agreements, the participants also discussed fair trade and the prospects of solidarity economy.

The third world meeting

In Siena, Italy, between 15 and 29 October 2006, the III World Meeting of Movements of Working Children and Youth took place in Siena, Italy, from 15 to 29 October 2006. 24 delegates from Africa, Latin America and Africa met under the motto "The right to be heard!" The exchange of opinions and experiences, deeper discussions following the meeting in Berlin 2004 and the constitution of the World Movement was the main focus of this meeting.

In parallel with the meeting of working children and youth, a seminar on "Solidarity-based economy" was held in Siena from 20 to 22 October 2006. In this seminar, adults from fair trade organisations, various NGOs and interested individuals discussed ways of supporting working children and youths in the production sector.

An adult forum followed from 23 to 25 October 2006. Representatives of support organisations for the movements of working children and youth discussed ways to better promote and strengthen the movements.

In addition to the internal meeting, meetings were organised with representatives of governments, ILO, UNICEF, Save the Children and NGOs. First steps and rapprochements between the world movement and the various organisations were made here, which promised to bear fruit if the exchange continues. A workshop at the University of Siena rounded off the range of meetings. At the end of the meeting, a press conference was held by the delegates and talks were held with journalists.

After the meeting some delegates made round trips through Italy. On the one hand, they drew attention to the perspective of working children and youth and made the World Movement more widely known. On the other hand, they used the opportunity to exchange views with representatives of various organisations on the issues discussed at the meeting.

Contents of the conference of movements

The first week was devoted to the substantive work and the problems in the individual continents. On the one hand, an intensive exchange of experiences led to a broader view of one's own concerns, on the other hand it strengthened the understanding and tolerance of the situations on the other continents. Similarly, the exchange of experiences led to the participants not feeling alone with their problems. For it became clear once again that fundamental problems are to be found in many countries (e.g. working children are persecuted by the police and driven from public places or they are exploited by adults and sometimes even exploited). Approaches to solutions were discussed, which can be incorporated into the work of the supporting organisations and their own movements.

The delegates concretised the action plan of the world movement, which consists of the following six areas: training and capacity building, organisation, communication and information, legal and political relations, decent work and the celebration of special events such as 9 December (Working Children's Day) or 1 May (Labour Day).

At the end of the discussions, the delegates formulated a vision for the world movement:

We, the working children and youth - organised in the World Movement - want a world where all rights for all children and youth are respected and protected; a world where we can grow and prosper and where we have a chance to work in dignity.

Conference contents of the adult forum

The adult forum was first constituted in Kundapur in 2005. Now the aims and tasks of the adult forum were to be manifested in Siena. These are the following:

  1. Lobbyist for the interests of movements of working children and youth.
  2. Service providers in terms of conceptual and methodological support; this also implies training and research.
  3. Information and communication.
  4. Financial support and management.
  5. Among other things, it was also decided to give the adult forum a legal-legal status.

The adult forum will abide the following agreed mission:

  1. To defend the social, political and economic rights of working children and youth.
  2. To be advocates to open, defend and claim spaces for the movements of working children and youth and their adult supporters.
  3. To supply the movements with information of all kinds.
  4. To provide the movements of working children and youth with tools, including education and training.
  5. To defend children's rights to participation at all levels and decision-making bodies, to give concrete expression to the perception of the child as a social actor.
  6. To defend, accompany and promote the protagonism of the working child.

Members of the adult forum, in addition to the founding members, are the movements of working children and youth, as well as organisations and individuals who are well disposed towards the movements.

The adult forum consists of several elements:

  • a general assembly consisting of all members of the adult forum. It appoints the members of the executive committee;
  • an executive committee consisting of two members from each continent (Europe included) and three other individual members. In addition, an international coordination office will be created;
  • a council of experts consisting of two children and youths from each continent and six adults to advise the executive committee.

The meeting of the adult forum concluded with the adoption of an action plan to be aligned with that of the movements of working children and youth. Among other things, it was agreed to launch a worldwide campaign "The right of the child to be heard!" in order to bring this right of the child further to the forefront of society.

Organisation of the meeting

This meeting was organised by ItaliaNats with the support of ProNATs. The patronage and assistance was provided by the Ministero degli Affari Esteri and the Comitato Italiano per l'Unicef Onlus. Save the Children Italia Onlus and Save the Children were sponsor and patron. Collaborations and partnerships were established with the Instituto degli Innocentivon UNICEF, Regione Toscana, Provincia di Siena, Comune di Siena, Comune di Colle di Val d'Elsa and Acri Siena. COOP Centro Italia was the main sponsor of this meeting, other sponsors were Banca dei Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

Related pages

Final declaration of Siena

Updated: 14.12.2020