November 20 is International Children’s Day. But too often, young and old don’t know they have rights. Thus, since 2018 the “Patrimonio Comune” association has been visiting schools, universities and high schools to talk to them about justice.
This is the story of Hugo and his friend Julie. They have known each other since kindergarten and are inseparable, one day Hugo takes a picture of Julie and publishes it on her social network … and of course it goes wrong.
With the video and drawings of his little characters, Pierre Cornou, jurist and co-founder of “Common heritage“explains the important notions of image rights to children in just a few minutes.
A few years ago, Pierre Cornou intervened in a high school as a lawyer. At the end of the session with the students, it was said that it was too short, that he had to come more regularly to schools, colleges and high schools to explain the right to children.
“common heritage” this is how it was born in 2018.”Children know the rules, they have plenty of them at school, at home. But they often see them as constraints, while the law is there to help and protect them. Thanks to its rules, the law allows us all to be equal. “
“But why am I going to court, I didn’t do anything?a little boy once asked.Children know criminal law, the one we see in soap operas on TV, that of the court that sends the bad guys to jail, explains Farah Nour, co-president of the association.
But by attending classes, Common Heritage members allow children to discover that the law is everywhere.
“When they go to buy sweets, they make a contract with the pastry lady, it’s legal. When they get on the bus, when they go to the cinema, they are also contracted and therefore law! We all do law every day, all the time.“A bit like Monsieur Jourdain wrote prose without knowing it!
The association organizes workshops. In the form of games, drawings, questions, the speakers evoke the rights of children. “They have the right to be looked after, the right to have sufficient and balanced nutrition, to go to school, the right to be protected from violence, ill-treatment and all forms of abuse and exploitation and also the right to play.”
“It is important that they know their rights. Knowing they have them makes them strongernote Pierre and Farah, and they can defend themselves.”
«When we meet high school students who will do internships in companies, we explain to them that when you are an intern you also have rights. Education and the law are the best weapons.’
“Indeed, the right is my boyfriend, he is on my side“concluded a student after a workshop.
During the sessions, the association’s volunteers discuss issues of harassment, image rights and freedom of expression. “It is their daily life, it is important to know their rights and their limits, Farah continues. They are asked to be good citizens without having explained to them what a good citizen is. “
Common Heritage therefore involves lawyers, jurists and law students. And these workshops with children or young people are good for everyone. “In the law, we often tend to complicate everything. Everything is reduced to the point. There, on the contrary, the instruction is to keep it simple, to forget the tics of speech, the “big complicated words”. The goal is for all citizens to understand the law. Justice is done in their name. “
Pierre and Farah are convinced that law should be taught in school, from elementary school onwards, like mathematics, French or history. “Understanding the law is important for learning to live together and become citizens“, they plead together.
Sometimes, at the end of a workshop, a child comes to visit them to ask them a question about what they are experiencing, in class or at home. The two lawyers wish there were legal services in the schools. On the model of the infirmary. A fixed presence to turn to in case of need. “Because kids can’t necessarily talk about it at home if it’s a family issue or at school if it’s a classroom concern. Like nurses, lawyers can treat ailments and provide answers.”
To better respond to young people’s questions, Common Heritage has set up a website. www.aijedroit.com.
On its pages, school children or older students can find out about the legal professions, basic principles, play quizzes and ask questions.
Obviously the lawyers answer as clearly and simply as possible.
“People should no longer be afraid of the law, I wish Pierre and Farah. And to conclude they mention little Maria, 12 years old, who at the end of a workshop exclaimed: “The law is everywhere in fact, and I have rights, it’s too good!”