In 2020, the Society “Our children“ Opatija implemented the project “Activate change in your community-NEF Croatia ”, which was aimed at strengthening the civic competencies of children. The project was funded by the EEA and Norwegian financial mechanisms and financially supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


For the development of civic competence, it is not enough for children to only know human rights, political concepts and processes, but it is necessary to enable them to practice democratic principles within school life and their social community.

With this project we want to provide education for children’s rights, democratic and digital citizenship to children members of NEF, councilors and mentors of Children’s councils through non-formal education. The planned activities are Educational interactive online workshops “I shoot from knowledge”; Online campaign “Children’s rights in the first place”; Online meeting of NEF members with decision makers at the local, national level and EU parliamentarians from Croatia.


By participating in project activities, beneficiaries will increase civic and digital competencies, we will sensitize children and adults to the need to involve children in decision-making processes from the local to the EU level. The project will contribute to the networking of NEF members and councilors of children’s councils from various parts of Croatia. The project “Activate change in your community – National Eurochild Forum of the Children’s Councils Croatia” is supported with 4,455 Euros of financial support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA and Norwegian grants.

What is the National Eurochild Forum of the Children’s Councils (NEF Croatia)?

The NEF Croatia enables children and young people to exercise children’s rights: the right to express their views on all matters relating to them and the right to have their views respected by those who decide on issues related to children’s and young people’s lives at local, national and European level.  

It operates in several European countries: Estonia, Croatia, Malta, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The development of a culture of participation is a powerful form of practicing democracy for adults and children. Participation is a fundamental principle of human rights.

In December 2019, the constituent meeting of the NEF Croatia was held in Opatija.

The participants of the meeting reached conclusions in which the needs of children were expressed, which represent guidelines for the implementation of the participation project.

Participants state that children’s participation is the key to respecting children’s rights, that adult education is needed to communicate with children, meetings of children and adults where adults will raise awareness of children’s problems, partnership between adults and children, digital citizenship in children, advocating for children’s participation to be a new impetus to European democracy.

You can find out more about NEF at the following link.

UNICEF’s publication “Opinions and Attitudes of Children and Youth in Croatia” based on a survey of 1,000 children and youth from primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Croatia found that almost half of children and youth are not adequately aware of their rights. In a sample of 503 children aged 8 to 9, it was found that children in the regions of Zagreb and its surroundings and Northern Croatia were best informed about children’s rights, while children in Istria and the Littoral were the least informed. A survey by UNICEF and Eurochild, conducted in 2019 in more than 20 EU countries, “Europe kids want” shows that children and young people need to be empowered to be more involved in decision-making processes because they are considered leaders of change. Adults hould continue to raise awareness and share good practices on the protection of children from various forms of violence, including violence in the digital environment, Member States and the EU should continue to promote and protect the rights of all children “regardless of their origin or migration status” and how the EU should ensure a healthy future for all children. Taking into account the fact that new generations of children are constantly arriving who need to know their rights and on that basis realize their social activities, education on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Children’s Participation and digital citizenship must be carried out continuously.