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Getting to Know the National Eurochild Forums: Malta

Get to know the National Eurochild Forums in their own words. In this blog, the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, which hosts one of the four NEFs, reveals how in its work children are not only merely consulted but also treated as equal partners, working alongside the team of MFWS on numerous themes and projects.

In 2017, Malta, through the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society (MFWS), was chosen by Eurochild, alongside two other countries to establish a National Eurochild Forum (NEF). The MFWS aims to create safe spaces for children and families within communities and society and strives to bring about positive changes and advocate for a more resilient, inclusive, socially just, equitable, peaceful, and prosperous society, with a specific emphasis on safeguarding children's rights.

From its inception, the MFWS has been committed to actively involving children in its various initiatives. Children are not merely consulted but are treated as equal partners, working alongside the team of the MFWS on numerous themes and projects. By providing a secure platform for children to voice their opinions and ideas, the foundation helps them become more active and engaged citizens.

The primary objective of the NEFs is to gather the voices and opinions of children at the local level, and then convey them to Eurochild to be incorporated into their policy work. These processes are deeply rooted in international conventions, such as Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (FRA). These both emphasise that every child has the right to express their views, in all matters affecting them, and these views must be taken seriously.

Over the years, the NEF in Malta has organised several projects, most of which saw the collaboration between children and adults.

The "You Matter No Matter What" initiative, the largest project of the NEF so far, was a national consultation with school children in Malta, aimed to deepen their understanding of the UNCRC. The primary objective was to allow children to express how effectively they are being heard in today’s society, with a particular focus on Article 12.

The Poverty Takes Away the Right to Childhood Report is one of the more recent projects undertaken through the NEF. Through consultation sessions and surveys involving Maltese children and their counterparts in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Estonia, the report presented a comprehensive overview of the local situation of children’s perceptions of child poverty in each of the countries. This report exemplifies the impact of the NEFs in elevating the perspectives of children to the international stage.

Through initiatives like the National Eurochild Forum, the MFWS, in partnership with Eurochild, champions the rights and perspectives of children and ensures that their voices are represented and extend beyond the national level, resonating across European and international platforms.

For further information on the activities of the Maltese National Eurochild Forum feel free to contact Lorella Gatt, Office Manager and Angie Caruana, Projects Manager for the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.

For further information on the National Eurochild Forums feel free to contact Lenia Kriki, Child Participation and Policy Officer at Eurochild.




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