Children as Actors in Transforming Society (CATS)
30 July - 5 August, 2018

Children as Actors for Transforming Society

Safe Together - working to end violence against children



Discover the 2018 programme here.


Up to one billion children around the world have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence in the past year according to the World Health Organization. The negative effects of exposure to physical and emotional violence continue into adulthood and trap children in a cycle of harm which extends to those around them. Agencies working to protect children, and all of us, must take urgent action to end violence. Together, we must create spaces and opportunities for children to speak out and shape decisions and initiatives that can grant them a life free from harm.

How can children and adults work together to combat violence?

CATS 2018 aims to stimulate a culture of collaboration between children and adults, and to equip and empower them to take action against all forms of violence affecting children. This event will bring together children (2-18) with some experience of child participation, NGOs, intergovernmental agencies, schools, the social sector, youth groups, political leaders and decision-makers, ministries, child protection specialists, academics and families to make a safer world for everyone. Join them as they share their stories as victims, confronters and sometimes perpetrators of violence and provide inspiring examples of how they combat violence in many different contexts.



Topics addressed:
  • Different forms of violence affecting children (physical, sexual, emotional)
  • Critical issues related to violence against children across countries/regions
  • Children as victims, bystanders, confronters and perpetrators
  • Strategies engaging children in combating all forms of violence
  • International mechanisms and initiatives
  • Pathways to safety (inclusion, peace, well-being, participation, etc)
  • Community engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships to end violence against children



What past participants say:

My experience here transformed me: we laughed together, reflected together, shared together and cried together. But we also built hope together. I could hear how children see the world. There is no word in the dictionary to express the impact this week had on me, on my life. 

CATS 2017 participant

In many ways, CATS 2015 was an embodiment of what child participation can be. Meeting children who live it day in, day out, was a unique experience of the transformation that happens through attending CATS. It’s not just a meeting, it’s an example of both the principles of child participation and a lived understanding of how all your senses can be influenced by it.

Judith Diers, UNICEF Chief of Adolescents

Taking part in the CATS conference was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had the chance to meet children and adults from all around the world and get to know their traditions, lifestyles and most importantly the problems that they face. Through the workshops, I learned about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and how to advocate for children’s rights in my own country.

Christos Metaxas, Cyprus, 15 years old



This event will start on Monday 30 July and end on Sunday 5 August. Registration for this event will open on 1 March 2018.

Who is CATS for?

Children (2 - 18) with some experience of child participation. NGOs, intergovernmental agencies, schools, social sector, youth groups, political leaders and decision makers, ministries, child protection specialists, academics, families. More on requirements how to participate at CATS here.

Organizing Partners:
For more information:
Contact the team: