Few weeks ago, the comments of Luis Miranda, Mayor of Anjou, in front of a teenager, rightly caused a stir in the Quebec media. In response to Mr Miranda’s reaction, the IBCR published an open letter in the press to remind us all of the importance of respecting all children’s rights, and in particular the right to participation.

In early October, when 15-year-old Hocine Ouendi asked Mr Miranda to reopen the soccer fields recently closed by the town hall, Mr Miranda replied: 

“Sorry, but you are 15 years old, I won’t trade with you. When I was 15, I would never have come to confront the mayor. It should have been your father or your mother who comes before me, I have no business talking to you.”

In the face of such a reaction, we felt it was essential to reiterate the importance of children’s right to participation, and the need to review our perceptions as a society to fully implement it.  

From the open letter: “There are many voices in our society that refuse to be spoken for without their presence. The distorting mirror provided by Mr. Miranda is a call to action: it is time to know and acknowledge that children have rights, recognised by our states, including the right to express themselves and to be heard on matters that concern them. [We can no longer decide for them without them. “

Read the full letter