Save the Children Netherlands developed the first ever child friendly version of the Dutch coalition agreement, which contains the governments’ plans for the next four years. This child friendly version: ‘Government’s Policies Explained for Kids’, has been developed in collaboration with a well-renowned Dutch children's book author and a well-renowned children's book illustrator, with the aim of better involving Dutch children in public decision making.
One of the concluding observations of the CRC on the last periodic report of the Netherlands was that it was concerned about the limited opportunities for children to participate in decisions and policies that affect them. We believe that children have the right to participate and talk about policies as decisions made by the government, affect them too. But to be able to do so, they first have to understand those policies.
On 20 December this child-friendly publication was presented by 50+ children to Deputy Prime Minister Hugo De Jonge, and to Gert-Jan Segers, leader of the ChristenUnie, in parliament.
Both were very open to the initiative and really took their time to speak with the children. As a result Save the Children Netherlands has been invited by the Deputy Prime Minister to further discuss issues around child participation and children’s rights. Gert-Jan Segers also committed that the coalition agreement will always be translated into child-friendly version. The municipal elections are coming up this March, and we are planning to call on the 388 municipalities to also issue their coalition agreements in children's language.
Watch this video that captures children's opinions and reactions from the government representatives.