Some 450 children from ten city schools presented a set of eleven demands this morning, set out in the Children’s Agenda to improve children’s well-being in the city and accompanied with ideas about what the City Council can do to achieve them. The Deputy Mayor for Social Rights, Maria Eugènia Gay, pledged to study them and respond to them in the spring next year. All the demands and proposals will be taken into account in the review of the Barcelona Childhood Plan 2021-2030.
The Children’s Agenda is a document setting out 11 demands, 30 proposals and over 100 ideas for improving children’s well-being in the city. The agenda is the result of a research process that began with the Barcelona Survey on Children’s Subjective Well-being, which on this occasion surveyed over 5,000 children between the ages of 8 and 11 and continues with participatory workshops to jointly interpret the results of the survey and generate proposals for improving well-being.
The 11 demands from children to improve their well-being are:
- Look after our family life
- Join forces to put an end to bullying
- Take care of our safety and not allow any violence towards children
- More emotional support and less pressure about what we should be like
- More help to use screens safely and not get hooked on them
- More free time to play and do things that we like
- A child-friendly city where we can play and pursue life outdoors
- Listen to our opinions and enable us to take part in the decisions that affect us
- For everybody to have what they need, buy fewer unnecessary things and share more
- Look after our school life beyond learning
- Look after the planet and for there to be equality between everybody
More help with screens and concern over the planet
The children explain that they like using screens but that they are also aware of some of the risks associated with this, which is why they ask for adults to help them use them safely so they don’t get hooked. Regarding the demand to look after the planet, they note that these concerns relate to both the environment and social justice.
Besides these two topics, other areas have been identified to further research into child well-being, such as: addressing sexual diversity and gender inequalities from childhood; racism, greater involvement of families with schools and more.
The ceremony came within the context of Barcelona’s role as the European Capital of Democracy, from September 2023 to September 2024, as although children do not have the right to vote they do have the right to be heard and for their opinions to be taken into consideration.