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Volem Decidir! kicks off, a process to foster children and adolescent participation in Barcelona

ca Volem Decidir! en  es

April 15, 2024

The initiative is aimed at boys and girls aged 8 to 17 in Barcelona and is part of the European Capital of Democracy program. The main objective is to listen to their concerns and proposals to participate in the city's affairs, recognizing their right to participation and influence in public affairs

This Monday, April 15, the first of the four assemblies that will take place this April kicked off at the Gràcia District headquarters with the aim of sharing everything that has been worked on in the workshops of the children's participation project Volem Decidir! and specifying which participation tools are viable and wanted to be presented to the Barcelona City Council.

For several weeks, boys and girls from 26 primary and secondary education centers and 10 facilities, open centers, and children's clubs have been working on three educational workshops around two questions:

  • What topics in the city do we want to participate in?

  • How do we want to participate in them?

For this reason, they have debated on the topics that concern and interest them the most and have made concrete proposals to be heard and to be able to participate in the city's decisions. Bullying at school, poverty and inequality, or the environment and the planet are some of the topics that concern children aged 8 to 11, while adolescents aged 12 to 17 are more concerned about housing access difficulties, problems with the education system, or emotional well-being. Some of the proposals collected so far are:

  • Having information points about the city for children and adolescents at neighborhood libraries.

  • Being asked, being allowed to vote in the city's processes and decisions.

  • Being able to hold neighborhood assemblies and councils for children and adolescents. Having spaces in neighborhoods to meet and express opinions.

  • Creating a YouTube channel for the Barcelona City Council with verified information about what is happening in the city.

  • Help to combat misinformation and cyberbullying on social networks.

See the video here

In this second phase, the participants present and discuss these proposals in assemblies located in the Districts and at the Canòdrom de Barcelona. This interaction facilitates joint dialogue with other centers or entities, with the aim of reaching consensus on the most viable proposals with the greatest support. Once the assemblies are finished, those with the most consensus will be presented to the Barcelona City Council and its political representatives for consideration and implementation. In addition, a commission formed by the participants themselves will ensure the follow-up of the execution of these proposals throughout the 2024-25 academic year.

The ultimate purpose of this process is the creation of new innovative forms and spaces for participation for children and adolescents, based on their proposals and with the support of the City Council and the community.


Speakers Corner at Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia

During the assemblies, representatives from each class group that have actively participated in the workshops have the opportunity to share among various educational centers. Time is dedicated to deepen and work collectively to specify the proposals that have received the most support. In addition, there is a space for expression with an open mic in public space, where children and adolescents have a platform to explain their proposals for the city and participation. These events are open to the public, offering an opportunity to attend and listen to the proposals of the boys and girls.

The participating centers of this first assembly have been: Vila de Gràcia Institute (Gràcia), Menéndez Pelayo Institute (Sarrià-Sant Gervasi), Les Corts Institute (Les Corts), and Joan Brossa Institute (Horta-Guinardó). Together, they have elaborated and voted on the topics that concern them the most, and on this occasion, housing has topped the ranking, followed by sports activities and education and knowledge. As for the proposals, the most voted have been: the creation of social networks for citizen participation, conducting interviews and surveys with adolescents, and awareness campaigns against cyberbullying and for the protection of personal data.


Calendar of upcoming assemblies

April 18: Secondary school assembly at Canòdrom. (C/Concepción Arenal, 165)

Participating centers:

  • Alzina Institute (Sant Andreu)

  • FEDAC Horta (Horta Guinardó)

  • Sant Gabriel School (Sant Martí)

  • Antaviana School Institute (Nou Barris)

April 19: Primary school assembly. Ciutat Vella District. (Plaça Vicenç Martorell, 1)

Participating centers:

  • Cervantes School (Ciutat Vella)

  • Drassanes School (Ciutat Vella)

  • Alexandre Galí School (Ciutat Vella)

  • Mare de Déu del Roser School (Eixample)

  • Diputació School (Eixample)

  • Montseny School (Gràcia)

April 29: Assembly in the Sant Martí District. (Plaça Valentí Almirall, 1)

Participating centers:

  • Els Porxos School (Sant Martí, Imcitizen project)

  • La Pau School (Sants Martí, Imcitizen project)

  • Antaviana School (Nou Barris)

  • Paideia School (Les Corts)


Organized by the process: Barcelona City Council within the framework of the European Capital of Democracy (Barcelona City Council and Metropolitan Strategic Plan of Barcelona).

Collaborators in the project Volem Decidir!:

  • Barcelona Education Consortium

  • Institute of Childhood and Adolescence

  • Imcitizen European Project

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