2023 Winter Programme
The project aims to formulate an alternative report that is much more child-centric, leading to building a network of empowered defenders of child rights. The three-day camp engaged 13 children and 8 young people from monastic institutions, school children, school graduates, and children with a disability where they were introduced to the historical context of CRC and children's rights. The Camp created awareness in children about the CRC, related national policies, and programmes. The engagement process takes them through a reflective process wherein the children will apply the newly acquired lenses to share their experiences.
The first day started with an interactive game on understanding rights and responsibility and an overview by the National Commission of Women and Children on the Child Rights Convention and children's status in Bhutan. When engaging the participants in a group exercise on rights, it was evident that most young people associated rights with an individual’s status, age, and position of power in society. However, other participants also shared that everyone should have equal rights regardless of class, race, or status. This highlights the need to engage young people in more discourse on rights so that they learn different perspectives on the topic and are less vulnerable to exploitation/ abuse.
On days two and three of the YI winter camp, the participants engaged in interactive activities empowering them to reflect on their experiences, which shed light on substance abuse, lack of family support for vulnerable children (divorced parents, financially challenged), and the importance of creating a conducive environment for learning in schools and different institutions engaging young people. A few participants reflected on the question of whether it is necessary to use corporal punishment to discipline a student, they shared that if the students continue acting/behaving the same even after they are punished using this approach, then we must seek alternative approaches instead of corporal punishment to ensure the change in the student. The last day ended with participants sharing that now through understanding the different child rights they will advocate it to ensure the promotion of children's well-being across all the communities.