Children’s Council, Valongo


The Children’s Council aims to promote participation and autonomy and ensure children’s right to play. In the Council, children have the opportunity to express their opinions, discuss problems, make proposals and participate in decision-making related to their daily life and that of their community, so that they can enjoy a city with spaces and rules that respect and fulfil their needs.
The Councillors, chosen by lot, are asked to help the mayor build a better city for all by freely expressing their ideas and opinions on the issues that concern them. Council sessions are held fortnightly on Saturday mornings, where children can reflect, express ideas and debate on topics of interest to them and develop proposals for change. The sessions have a practical character because, through dynamics, games and moments of reflection, they identify challenges in the territory and propose solutions. These proposals are then presented by the children to the Mayor of Valongo and their implementation is discussed.


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The community, and in special, the children involved in the project.


By actively involving children, the project addresses SDG 16, aiming to create peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. In doing so, it ensures the voices of vulnerable and underrepresented groups are heard, fostering a more equitable and harmonious society. The project also contributes to SDG 11 by advocating for child-friendly cities, where urban environments prioritize the well-being and safety of all residents, particularly children. Furthermore, the project aligns with SDG 4, focusing on provision of quality education, respectively. By advocating for the rights and well-being of children, the Children's Council promotes essential aspects of sustainable development. The incorporation of children's ideas and proposals into governance processes addresses the interconnected nature of the SDGs, encouraging holistic decision-making that considers the broader implications of policies and initiatives. In conclusion, the Children's Council project represents a promising pathway towards building a more sustainable and equitable world. By empowering children to participate in decision-making and advocating for their needs, the project aligns with multiple SDGs. Its focus on inclusivity, child rights, child-friendly cities, holistic decision-making, positive social norms, and local action has the potential to accelerate SDG implementation and create a brighter future for all.

Additional information

Goal 11
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 16
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Strengthen public institutions to enhance the protection of our global commons and provision of public goods
Involve the scientific-community, civil society and local communities in the policy and decision making
Promote informed citizen participation in public life and decision-making

Children's Proposals and Recommendations Report: The project will compile and publish a comprehensive report that documents the ideas and proposals put forth by children during their participation in the Children's Council. This report will serve as a tangible deliverable and a valuable resource for policymakers, educators, and the wider community. It will highlight children's perspectives on various issues affecting their lives and outline actionable recommendations to address these concerns. The report will be distributed to local authorities, schools, and relevant stakeholders to ensure that children's voices are heard and their ideas are taken into account in decision-making processes.
Child-Friendly City Initiatives: As a concrete outcome of the Children's Council project, specific child-friendly initiatives will be implemented in the city. These initiatives may include creating safe and accessible play areas, implementing pedestrian-friendly infrastructure around schools and public spaces, promoting green spaces and sustainable urban planning, and improving public transportation to accommodate the needs of children and families. These tangible improvements will contribute to making the city more inclusive and conducive to children's well-being and development.

Staff / Technical expertise
The Children's Council project employs qualified staff and technical experts who possess relevant knowledge and skills in areas such as child development, child rights, participatory methodologies, governance, and urban planning. These experts provide crucial support, guidance, and training to facilitate children's meaningful participation in decision-making processes. They play a vital role in ensuring the project's success by fostering an environment that empowers children to express their needs and ideas effectively, and by translating their input into actionable proposals for creating a more child-friendly and inclusive territory.