The City Council’s child and youth welfare committee has taken the first steps towards implementing a children’s and youth town hall. At today’s meeting, the committee decided to set up a central contact point in Mayor Verena Dietl’s office and a position for conceptual and controlling tasks for child and youth participation in the Civic Engagement and Public Participation department on the Board of Directors. Furthermore, the framework concept for child and youth participation and the associated action plans are to be specified in cooperation with civil society organisations.
Mayor Verena Dietl: “With the ‘Town Hall for Children and Young People’ we finally want to bring participation to the top of the city. According to the UN Convention, child and youth participation is a child’s right. Munich children from all districts are allowed to have their say in the town hall and formulate their concerns to the mayor. Together with the children and young people, we will develop cross-departmental solutions. In addition to the well-known formats such as the children and youth forum or district suitcase, our projects are to be expanded so that as many children and young people in Munich as possible are reached. Because no child should be lost. The participation office, positioned directly by the mayor, is a milestone in Munich’s local politics. 2023 is the year of child and youth participation.” The framework concept for child and youth participation was adopted in 2019 by the child and youth welfare committee and includes the two action concepts “participation of children and youth in urban society” and “establishment of binding structures for participation in the administration”. The conceptual work on it had to be postponed, among other things because of the corona pandemic.
The aims of participation are to make suggestions and opportunities for children and young people to participate in the city society recognizable and to involve them in all areas of city administration. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Germany ratified in 1992, stands for the formal right of all minors, according to their age and maturity, to be considered, heard and taken seriously in all matters affecting them. The city council of the state capital recognized the UN Convention in 2001 with a unanimous decision and thus committed itself to filling children’s rights with life. Since then, participation in Munich has developed in many steps. The newly created children’s and young people’s town hall now offers the support structure for further development opportunities at the top of the city.