A City’s good practice towards the elimination of discrimination
The City of Barcelona has created a model of democratic participation for the children, giving them the possibility to reflect on different subjects of civic engagement. Within the Laia’s Plea project, children are also given the opportunity to be heard by the City Council and other citizens. More than 400 children from different schools in Barcelona participate in this practice each year.
For a few months, children and their teachers discuss matters affecting the city, exchange ideas and make a series of proposals as to how the city can address its problems. These ideas are then transmitted to the Council and to all citizens. This practice is organized by the Municipal Institute of Education, the Department of Civil Rights and the Municipal Institute of Culture of the City Council of Barcelona. It enables children to think about different important subjects and to focus and build their own opinions.
In the academic year 2008-2009, coinciding with the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the theme of the Laia’s Plea was “Barcelona dialogue! Proposals for intercultural citizenship.” For the year 2009-2010 the theme was “Enhance your landscape Barcelona! Measures for the protection and quality of the urban landscape!” In 2010-2011 the theme has been “Barcelona culture! Children enjoy culture.” And for the next academic year 2011-2012 the children will work on the theme “Participate to hear the voice of the children in Barcelona!”
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537. The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of between 4,200,000 and 4,500,000 on an area of 803 km2, being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union. Barcelona is today one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centres, and its influences in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.
Barcelona has been a member of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism since December 2004.
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