Our Colourful Voices is the Inter-American Children’s Institute’s official website on participation. It emerged as an online area where organized children and representatives of the various States can engage in discussion and be consulted about subjects they are interested in.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has transformed the way in which children and adolescents are considered and treated, recognizing them as holders of rights. When we talk about the human rights approach, we must also include respect for diversity, non-discrimination, equal opportunities, the prevalence of children’s interests and consideration of their progressive autonomy and participation in the promotion and protection of their rights.
In its Article 12, the CRC recognizes the right of children to express their opinionsin all matters affecting them, and that these views be taken into account. Articles 13 (the right to freedom of expression), 15 (right to freedom of association) and 17 (right to gain access to appropriate information)also refer to this right.
In February 2009, this online environment was presented to a working group of representatives and children from ten member States, from whom we received a number of recommendations for the enhancement of this communication tool.
In 2010, a survey was conducted amongst the children of Consultative Councils in which they were asked to give their opinions and make proposals to update the website. Eighteen members from various States responded.
Our Colourful Voices officially became a website in late 2011, incorporating most of the requests and suggestions made by the Children and Adolescents. Today, our goal transcends the advisory role of the first website. This new level of communication is a virtual space that responds to a greater extent to participation-related issues; namely:Be informed, give opinions, be heard, be organized and influence decisions.