Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsI believe that young people and children should participate in the decision-making process because if we want to build leaders, we have to empower those generations, children and youth. Because they have a voice, and they know what they want. And as survivors, they know a lot more than most people think, so they can also participate in the decision of their life, and they can also contribute to build a better future for them. Simple. When they are no more children, when they're adults, it would gladden them to know that they took part in deciding what their fate would be, unlike if everything was decided for them and then they have to live with what somebody thinks is best for them.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsBecause no one decides his future better than himself. So these children must be put on the table to decide their fate by themselves. Well, if it's about them, of course they should have a right to say what they think is important. They should be able to shape their lives, because it's about them. It is their right as a child to participate in all decisions that are being made about their lives and about the things that concern them. So it is basically about granting them their right and also about giving them back security, about being their own bosses of their lives and about what is going to happen with them.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 secondsSo it's really important that we give asylum seekers as a whole and especially unaccompanied asylum seekers and minors choices and the ability to inform decisions that affect them so much. Because it affects their entire future. Because without the voices of those who are impacted most by policies, there is no decision that's being made for those people. Who better to know what's best for them as someone who is inside that group than us, youth? Ask us. Welcome to start of Week 3 of your course. I appreciate you're being given a lot of information in this course, but I do hope you're finding it useful.

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 secondsIt's important this information is really helpful to you in whatever role you play to support unaccompanied and separated children. This week we'll be looking closely at some internationally agreed principles, such as determination of the best interests of the child and that of safeguarding, so whatever we do doesn't put children at further risk of harm. We'll think about how these principles can be practically implemented through the services and support provided to unaccompanied and separated children. We'll also continue to explore the importance of working in a child-friendly manner and the different ways we can do this.

Skip to 2 minutes and 41 secondsAt any time we're offering children alternative care and other services, regardless of the organisations we work for, we should be doing this with respect for national laws and processes, including the national child protection and alternative care system of the country we're working in. This week we'll be stressing the importance of this. I'll also be asking you more questions about practises for unaccompanied and separated children in your country. And I really look forward to reading your answers. And finally, you'll see another episode of the film about Aden. Last week he had some terrible experiences. Will things improve for him now? So good luck with your course this week.

Welcome to Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of your course ‘Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children’. This week we will be looking closely at some internationally agreed principles that can help guide our work with unaccompanied and separated children.

We will continue to explore ways in which we work in a child-friendly manner. We will also consider the important issue of how we should all work within the laws and processes of national child protection and alternative care systems regardless of the organisation we are employed by.

Once again, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to share your ideas and provide comments and other information through the ‘comments’ section at the bottom of each page. Please do continue to participate in this way so that we may hear more about your experience and learn from your interesting ideas.

In this video Chrissie Gale, your Lead Educator, introduces the topics we will be covering this week. Before this, we hear from Wannes, Mariane, Gian, Toyib, Bassey, Carl, Natalie, Lottie, Meher, Sean and Augusto. They are answering the question: Why should children and young people participate in decisions about their lives?

By the end of this week we hope you will feel comfortable with the following topics:

  • Some of the internationally agreed principles that guide our work with children, including:
    • Do no harm
    • Safeguarding
    • Best interests of the child
    • Informed consent
    • Confidentiality
    • Non-discrimination
    • Non-refoulement
  • Working in a child-centred and child-friendly manner
  • The importance of working within national child protection and alternative care systems

Spanish, French and Arabic translations of all course pages are available as ‘Downloads’ below. In the ‘Downloads’, you will also find a copy of the Terminology document that you might wish to refer to as you move through the course.

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This video is from the free online course:

Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

University of Strathclyde