“Today, my ministers, it is you. You are the one who will give me ideas“, declared the Prime Minister by opening this Council of Ministers of Children”protected“, organized the day after the International Day of the Rights of the Child on November 20, and which was followed by an interministerial committee for Children.
“Each of you was confronted very early on with many difficulties (…) but today you represent all the children of France“, she greeted.
This meeting comes at a time when the child welfare services (ASE) are facing great difficulties.
Defender of Rights Claire Hédon took up this question in mid-November, triggering a contradictory investigation in the North and the Somme where the situation is particularly delicate, while sounding the alarm bell on “the crying lack“means for almost the entire territory.
President Emmanuel Macron had already hosted a council of children’s ministers at the Elysée at the end of 2017, with Unicef.
“It impresses me because it’s big and it’s the first time in my life that I’ve done this“, confides Ryan, 11, in front of his hot chocolate served in a large room in Matignon. A welcome appreciated by children, mostly aged 8 to 12, from Bordeaux, Nantes or Lille.
For Charlotte Caubel, Secretary of State for Children, it is “important to give a voice to the children we hear the least“, who “suffered violence” Where “have complicated paths“.
– Workshops –
Several of them live in social children’s homes (MECS) where they have been placed by court decision.
This day is “the opportunity to make their voices heard on everyday issues but also to bring up their difficulties because of their situation“, explains Delphine Babel, director of one of these houses in Meurthe-et-Moselle, who accompanies two of them.
While Elisabeth Borne receives her Minister Delegate for Relations with Parliament Franck Riester upstairs, the children meet in small groups in the lounges on the ground floor to work out proposals on five themes: school, life environment, health and disability, access to culture and sport, and digital technology.
“I’d rather be late for my work than pollute“with the car,” says 12-year-old Warrick at the environment workshop.Money is polluting when people buy lots of things“, abounds his neighbor Mérédith, 14 years old.
At the workshop on school, Clarisse, 11 years old, in CM2 in Bordeaux, who has been teased for her physique, asks that we do “pay more attention to fights” in the court.
Intern in a specialized house, Muhammed Ali, 12, does not know how to write well and asks the educator to put his demands on paper. For school, “we would like to change the working conditions“, clean toilets, “sports activities, more languages and more experiences“.
At the big table of the fictitious council, eight ministers have taken their places between the children. 10-year-old Grégory, who comes from Rheu, near Rennes, finds that the football pitches in Qatar “in the middle of the desert, it pollutes a lot. If I were minister (…) I would have said to postpone the matches in 2023 so that they are (organized) elsewhere“.
Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra promises him that “in the future, we want major events to make commitments” on the environment and recalls that France wants “divide by two” its carbon emissions at the 2024 Olympics.
Aby Diop, 16, calls for him, “almonds” for parents who put their children in front of screens before the age of 3.
Sarah El Hairy, who represents the Minister of Education Pap Ndiaye, offers them to become “ambassadors“against harassment, including cyber.
On health, 12-year-old Kelyah suggests at school, “more trees, more sports and… one day a year in pajamas“.”Very good idea!“, estimates the Minister of Health François Braun.