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International Children´s Day was recognised once again in both Torrevieja and Orihuela, with a special plenary session held where the future generations of the community could take their position as part of the governmental mechanism.

In Torrevieja, the mayor, Eduardo Dolón, stressed in his statement the four fundamental principles of the Rights of the Child. Children should not suffer discrimination. The interest of the child must be paramount when decisions affecting them are made. All children have the right to survival and development; these include the right both mental and physical development. Children need to express their views and always have to take into account issues affecting them.

In Orihuela this year, pupils form the Playas de Orihuela and Los Dolses schools on the coast joined others from surrounding villages and city centre to ask the councillors questions about their municipalities.

A representative from UNICEF in Spain attended Orihuela, where the acting Mayor, Antonio Zapata, chair the session as the children raised points relating to everything from the increase in class sizes and the reduction in teachers, to their local area and their rights to be treated equally.

Forming a now annual part of the school calendar, now in its seventh year in Orihuela, the children are all of around 11 years of age, and find the experience both educational and rewarding, with some spectators commenting how the children were far better behaved and mature than some of the adults who normally attend the sessions.

As part of the process before attending, the teachers split classes into groups to discuss and debate a number of topics under the guidelines set out by UNICEF, before deciding which questions should be raised. The whole process not only leads to an educational experience of how government and debate works, but also about both their rights and duties as members of the municipality.

Not only was their experience a fruitful one which they then take back to school to discuss the outcome, as the councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, explained, “I looked across at the children sat there and I thought to myself, I wonder if one of these will be a future mayor?”, as it could well be that their first taste of politics could well lead them into a future of serving the community as the future generation of councillors, ministers and potentially even world leaders.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45668/

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