The winner of a new award for youth action on climate, peace and disarmament, the Peace and Climate action of European Youth (PACEY) Award, will be announced on January 9, 2020
What an exciting event we held last week: The World Future Council is truly proud about the Future Policy Award Ceremony 2019 at which our “Oscar for best policies” – the Future Policy Award 2019 – distinguished eight truly exemplary policies empowering young people!
67 policies from 36 countries contest for Future Policy Award received
My name is Oona. I am 23, I am French and I study politics. I joined the World Future Council in May 2019 as an intern for the Future Policy Award 2019: Empowering Youth. A few days ago, I participated in the “Fridays For Future” march in Hamburg.
Hamburg, 14th March 2019. On the eve of the biggest global “Fridays for Future” youth strike for climate, the World Future Council offers its strong support to the dedicated young people holding leaders accountable for their climate commitments. If we are to meet the 1.5°C target of the Paris agreement bold action needs to happen now.
“Greta Thunberg, the Swedish student who initiated the strikes, once said that we adults claim to love our children above all else and we are stealing their future in front of their very eyes! I couldn’t have said it better”, says Prof. Herbert Girardet, Co-founder of the World Future. “Never before have had adults risked the future, even survival, of their children so frivolously. Future generations, in the short and long term, need our support more than ever. We cannot ignore either the climate crisis or the voices of those who will be most impacted by it.”
“As the ‘Voice of Future Generations’, the World Future Council has been highlighting sustainable solutions in order to keep our planet healthy and ensure a fairer and more just society for present and future generations. Children and young adults have a right to be heard and to be involved in decisions affecting their future, which is exactly what is happening in the ‘Friday for Future’ movement. The climate strikes are a sign of civil engagement, not skipping school. We now have to prove that child rights are more than empty promises”, declares Vandana Shiva, Founding member of the World Future Council and physician from India.
The World Future Council foundation advocates for climate protection, 100 percent renewable energy, ending fossil fuel and nuclear powered energy sources and supporting climate resilient and sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, it campaigns for greater inclusion of environmental and sustainable practice across our education systems. A new handbook on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) shows how a more holistic, progressive, hands-on education can play a central role in empowering learners of all ages to positively respond to local and global challenges and act in a more peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable manner. This approach is already helping people develop the skills, values and attitudes necessary to create more resilient societies and transition towards the skilled, green, low-carbon economies of the future.
“It’s already past the time we need to act! All the key facts concerning climate change are on the table and international political decisions have been made. Now we have to take action in the name of present and future generations,” urges Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.
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About the World Future Council
The World Future Council (WFC) works to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organisation under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org
For majority of children in Ghana, violence is an unfortunate part of their everyday life. According to official statistical reports, 9 out of 10 children are exposed to mental or physical violence, and physical punishment is a common phenomenon. More shocking are the figures for sexual violence: one out of five girls is sexually abused. There is an urgent need for action to protect children from violence! For girls and boys who experience and survive violence or abuse, a central, child-friendly centre providing the most essential services under one roof would be established from the first quarter of 2019, where trained personnel from the Social Welfare, Domestic Violence Unit of the Police Service (DOVVSU) and Ghana Health Service are available to offer prompt, secured and confidential service to victims. Our team conducted a technical workshop with representatives of Ministries and other key stakeholders responsible for child protection in Ho, South-East Ghana together with experts from Zanzibar to discuss and develop a roadmap to establish a pilot in Accra. These are the main results at a glance.
In November 2017, the World Future Council Foundation invited political decision-makers from 12 African and Asian countries to Zanzibar to acquaint themselves with the country’s comprehensive Children’s Act and its implementation. Zanzibar won the Gold Award of the “Political Oscar” Future Policy Award in 2015.
The Ghanaian delegation, consisting of representatives from the Department of Children of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare and the Law Faculty of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration were inspired by the one-stop-center model that Zanzibar has currently implemented in 6 out of 11 districts.
What is a one stop center?
One-Stop-Center (OSC) are central contact points for children and their families affected by (sexualised) violence. Here survivors can find psycho-social support, a police office to initiate criminal investigation as well as medical treatment including collection of forensic evidence under one roof. Ideally, legal help is part of the centre. The graphic illustrates the model:
As an important element of a strong national child protection system, the one-stop-centres provide survivors (girls and boys, women and men) with various initial services under one roof. As a result, the affected person does not have to go through the trauma of narrating the incident several times and also receives quick help. It helps parents stay focused on treating their child and persecuting the perpetrator. In cases without the OSC, survivors mostly have to visit different institutions – that costs money and time and often parents lose the momentum to persue the case. The later a case is reported, the harder it is to gather evidence of abuse on a child’s body.
Ideally, a one-stop center provides four services and is usually docted at a hospital:
- Psycho-social support – this is where the first interview takes place and the social worker decides which further steps are required. If there is an abuse / violence, the child will be escorted to the next room, where a police officer in civilian clothes and trained in child-friendly behaviour will fill in the form to follow up the case.
- Medical examination: in a third room, a medical doctor takes care of the child. Here the first medical and forensic examinations take place. If the child needs further special treatment, it will be treated immediately in the hospital.
- The employees of the one-stop-center are provided by the relevant ministries (Health, Interior, Family Affairs) and the Centre is (at best) coordinated by the Ministry of Health. All employees receive same training so they can better collaborate and follow same procedures and guidelines in writing the reports. This makes it easier for the police and the courts to track and prosecute cases.
- Support for counseling and legal aid is ideally offered in the fourth room.
Ghana on the way to pilot a one stop centre
After intensive discussions with the Department of Children from April 2018, the World Future Council Foundation organised a technical workshop to fully introduce the state agencies in the establishment and management of a one-stop-center model in Ghana from the 25-27 November 2018. We invited experts from Zanzibar to Ghana: Deputy Chairwoman Halima Abdallah, who spearheaded the establishment of the One-Stop-Center in the Ministry of Family and Health, Dr. Marijani, who has been responsible for medical and forensic investigations since its implementation in 2011, and Farshuu Khalfa, head of a one-stop center in Stone Town. Their insights, expertise and practical experience were most welcome and helpful in drawing up the roadmap for Ghana.
Under the auspices of the Children’s Department, 30 key representatives and decision-makers took part in the workshop to discuss the need for the OSC and to develop the roadmap for a pilot program. The participants represented the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Social Welfare Department and the specialised Domestic Violence Unit of the Police service – DOVVSU. Medical representative and international child rights organisations including ActionAid, World Vision, International Needs, UNFPA and UNICEF were also present.
The most important results of the workshop at a glance:
- Development of a roadmap for the establishment of a pilot in Accra
- National coordination agency of the One-Stop-Center pilot program will be the Ministry of Health with support of other ministries
- An inter-ministerial conference is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019 to decide on the roadmap and timetable
- A core group will identify a possible location for the pilot program in Accra
Last week, the World Future Council was on a scoping mission to Ghana to introduce the model of one-stop-centers to stakeholders in Ghana. The aim is to build on the existing structures to strengthen the child protection system in Ghana. Together with the Department of Children we had good discussions with the National Child Protection Committee in Accra and the Northern Regional Child Protection Committee in Tamale. We met dedicated and engaged partners and look forward to work with them on a pilot in November this year.
The one-stop-centers provide essential services for survivors of abuse under one roof. During our international conference on child protection we hosted in Zanzibar last year, we introduced the model of one-stop-centers, which inspired Ghanaian policy makers attending the conference. The Zanzibar’s Children’s Act 2011, which won our Gold Future Policy Award in 2015, layed the foundation for the child protection system in Zanzibar.
Silver Winner of FPA 2015, Maryland, inspires education experts from China
Environmental Education has been a priority in the Chinese education system. But unfortunately, there was no significant increase in the students’ engagement for environmental protection so far. China is therefore interested in learning from successful models in other countries.
We organised a conference in Maryland in 2016, and presented their award-winning Environmental Literacy Standards. During the conference, we looked into the success factors of the legislation which aims to educate students to become environmentally and sustainability aware citizens.
A Chinese delegation has also been present back in 2016. Inspired by the conference, they now visited Maryland again and met with officials at Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). They discussed various topics and questions, for instance regarding the curriculum framework and the relationship between government environmental agencies and school systems. How to provide more suitable materials and publicity channels for environmental education? How to improve the teaching staff’s environmental education level? And how to raise national awareness of environmental protection and establish public awareness of environmental supervision?
The delegation would like to conduct exchanges of experience in environmental education legislation in Maryland, particularly its experience in formulating environmental education standards, as well as successful cases of environmental improvement through education.
The World Future Council facilitated the meeting will follow up on this topic with the Chinese delegation.
The collaboration with the Julius-Leber-Schule in Hamburg began with an Erasmus+ project, called sustain.me, which was attended by the head of our children’s rights department, Samia Kassid, in the early summer of last year. As part of sustain.me, second-level students from Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and Spain came together to work together on the project on sustainability.
From the 28 – 30 November the World Future Council (WFC) hosted an international child rights conference in Zanzibar to explore the positive impacts of Zanzibar’s Children’s Act and share success stories on child protection, child friendly justice and participation from around the world. Representatives of ministries and policymakers from 12 countries, mainly from Africa and Asia, alongside experts on children’s rights and representatives from civil society drew up the Zanzibar Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights, committing themselves to taking strong action to eradicate all forms of violence against girls and boys. The assembly greatly benefited from the expertise and passion of two WFC Councillors Dr. Gertrude Ibengwé Mongella, former President of the Pan-African Parliament and Dr. Auma Obama, Chair and Founder of the Sauti Kuu Foundation.