Presentation of the project
The ‘Children’s Legal Education - Adapted Resources’ (C.L.E.A.R.) project, coordinated by Save the Children Romania, originated from the collaboration of two universities, three NGOs and one international network – the IJJO, with the support of a county council. The partners joined forces to develop tools for children’s legal education. Implemented in 5 European member States, Belgium, Italy, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom, the CLEAR project aims to favour cooperation and exchanges between education systems.
The CLEAR project has produced several tools for educating teenagers about rights and laws:
- “Children’s Rights, Laws and You”, a child-friendly set of three manuals for teenagers.
- “Teenagers, Their Rights and the Law – A Toolkit for Facilitators”, designed for peer-educators and teachers, social workers, community workers, prevention specialists and other professionals working with teenagers.
CLEAR has at its core the principle of child participation. From the very beginning of the project, children played an active role and developed, alongside with adults, the child friendly set of manuals. Furthermore, children have been engaged in supporting their peers’ legal education, by acting as facilitators.
The project was carried out in two main phases: the development of the tools, and their implementation and improvement, with the final goal of bringing the themes of rights and legality closer to teenagers, and therefore strengthen prevention of juvenile crime. More than 3.000 teenagers have taken part in the project so far.
C.L.E.A.R.'S Objectives are to:
- ensure that children gain a better understanding of their rights and obligations as well as of rights enforcement mechanisms as set-up under the relevant international, European and national legal instruments;
- develop the capacity of relevant private and public actors to implement legal education initiatives with children;
- improve the level of knowledge and awareness of child rights among specialists working with children, including juvenile justice professionals.
- Through 'Children's Rights, Laws and You', a child-friendly set of three Manuals for teenagers.
- 'Teenagers, Their Rights and the Law - A Toolkit for Facilitators', designed for peer-educators and teachers, social workers, community workers, prevention specialists and other professionals working with teenagers.
- Through training and educational activities: starting with pilot training sessions with children, prevention and education specialists, and followed up with a legal education campaign reaching 3000 children.
- Through five capacity-building workshops, held in five countries, addressed to peer-educators and specialists in the field of child rights and education.
- Through one European and national seminars, in order to disseminate the results of the project.
C.L.E.A.R. seeks to respond to the lack of knowledge that children have in relation to the defence of their rights, as well as in meeting their obligations. It takes into account that the most often voiced concerns of children when consulted by the European Commission's Flash Euro-barometer is that they don't know how to defend their rights and whom to contact if their rights are violated (80%). C.L.E.A.R. not only increases children's awareness of their rights, but it also contributes to the empowerment of children to identify situations in which their rights are violated and to make them better prepared and able to trigger the relevant enforcement mechanisms.
C.L.E.A.R. works alongside the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the EU Agenda on the Rights of the Child which recognises the importance of child participation and awareness raising of rights. The issue of legal education of children has been gaining in prominence at European level during the last few years, given that there is increasing concern to reform juvenile justice systems and to find other methods to respond to juvenile delinquency. Another concern is to tackle problems before young people come into conflict with the law, thus emphasising the prevention.