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The children of the Volem Decidir! process present their proposals to the mayor

ca Volem Decidir!  en Volem Decidir!  es Volem Decidir!

June 6, 2024

This Thursday, June 6 at 6:00 PM in the Saló de Cent of the Barcelona City Hall, the mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, received the participants of the Volem Decidir! participation process, which seeks to encourage participation among children and adolescents aged 8 to 17 in the city

The initiative, which has involved a total of 741 boys and girls and 37 groups, is part of the European Capital of Democracy program and started last February. Children and adolescents from 15 primary and secondary education centers and 6 facilities, open centers, and children’s clubs have worked on three educational workshops around two questions: What city issues do we want to participate in? How do we want to participate? Therefore, they have debated and shared in agoras the topics that most concern and interest them and have made concrete proposals so that they can be heard and participate in the city's decisions.

Additionally, on May 30, the Children's Monitoring Commission was established, formed by a group of volunteer boys and girls and representatives from the Barcelona City Hall, which will ensure the implementation of the proposals.

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Results of the process

Bullying in school, poverty, and animal abuse are some of the issues that concern children aged 8 to 11; while adolescents aged 12 to 17 are more concerned about well-being and mental health, leisure activities, and public space.

The most successful proposals are (8-11 years old):

  • Creation of an app where they can vote and make proposals to express their ideas and make suggestions.

  • Creation of a YouTube channel to explain important topics in a simple and entertaining way, to be informed about the world and how to participate in it.

  • Interviews and surveys so they can express themselves comfortably and individually.

  • School radio to explain projects that affect them like the We Want to Decide! project.

  • School votes on projects taking place in the city so their opinion is heard.

  • Children's participation association to address city issues where proposals are collected through a suggestion box.

  • Information in schools: regular time dedicated to learning how to get involved in the city.

  • Talking to the mayor: twice a year, a representative from each educational center would attend meetings.

  • Barcelona Children’s Council: monthly meetings of children’s representatives from the city to discuss issues of concern, which would be conveyed to City Hall officials.

  • Creating participation social media accounts.

  • Information at home through family.

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The most successful proposals are (12-17 years old):

  • Opening sports centers or playgrounds to implement other activities and facilitate access to sports through affordable prices and flexible municipal schedules. School sports leagues would be organized quarterly, and community use of spaces would be encouraged during the summer.

  • Creating social networks for civic participation to disseminate information and promote youth participation.

  • Creation of a City Hall app to directly inform young people about events in Barcelona.

  • Participatory projects to promote active participation at the neighborhood level, combining digital spaces for convening and physical spaces for debating.

  • Promoting a hybrid of digital and physical spaces for information about events and initiatives and community spaces for debate and concrete actions.

  • Awareness campaigns against cyberbullying and for the protection of personal data.

  • Adolescent Council as a stable participation body, where young representatives meet periodically to address the city's concerns.

  • Combating misinformation with measures to regulate the spread of fake news on social media, including penalties for those who share or generate them.

The ultimate goal of this process is to create new innovative forms and spaces of participation for children and adolescents, based on their proposals and with the support of the City Hall and the community.

Fifteen educational centers participated, with a total of 25 class groups and 556 children/adolescents, 6 facilities with a total of 8 groups and 140 children/adolescents, and 2 organizations with a total of 4 groups and 45 children and adolescents. A total of 107 workshops were held in the first phase and 9 agoras in the second phase.

The event was held within the framework of the constitution of the Children's Speaker, a space for children's participation to improve the well-being of boys and girls.

The process was organized by the Barcelona City Hall within the framework of the European Capital of Democracy (Barcelona City Hall and Barcelona Metropolitan Strategic Plan) and was supported by the Barcelona Education Consortium, the Institute of Childhood and Adolescence, and the European Project Imcitizen.

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