Brasov establishes Student Council to take an active role in the city’s political decision-making
Mayor Allen Coliban is working with UNICEF to make Brasov a child-friendly city
The Mayor of the Romanian city of Brasov Allen Coliban and the UNICEF representative for the country Pieter Bult signed a memorandum on July 23, formalizing Brasov’s commitment to become a child-friendly city by 2024.
The memorandum outlines the community’s specific commitments and goals in order to receive the prestigious UNICEF title. At the same time, representatives of the international organization will continuously support the Brasov Council.
The main idea is to create a government body made up of elected student representatives who can participate in the city’s communal life.
Direct democracy to give the youngest a voice
“Child-friendly city” is a term for a community that promotes the development of children and young people while respecting their rights. As a result, the guidelines and goals that Brasov has now presented are expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Specifically, a child-friendly city means a city or municipality where the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children are integrated into public policies, programs and decisions. The vision is that every child and adolescent can enjoy their childhood and develop their full potential in adulthood.
Mayor Coliban has a very specific idea of how all of this can be achieved, as he believes that children can be empowered through their active participation in government.
Deputy Mayor Flavia Boghiu outlined her idea of creating a student council based on the Brasov municipal council. The council will be composed of representatives from all schools in the city so that young people can taste what a real choice feels like and what is at stake.
The student council will provide advice to the mayor and perform other advisory functions with regard to the budget, development proposals and seat on various committees. The chairman of the student council will also have a say in the municipal council meetings if the topic concerns children’s interests (e.g. health, education, sport, etc.).
Pieter Bult, UNICEF representative for Romania, is quoted in a press release: “In the context of this project, as part of the initiative for child-friendly places, the participation of children is crucial. Children have a voice. The children have something to say. Children have ideas. Children have opinions. It is absolutely essential that children are involved in the decision-making process regarding things that happen at the local and community level. “