This is an important capacity strengthening strategy for CHOICE that is very much linked to learning by doing. With the take-two principle CHOICE ensures that we always send at least two advocates or staff members to every advocacy event or training, one experienced and one inexperienced, to ensure a continuous transfer of knowledge and skills. The inexperienced advocate is not only guided and supported by their more experienced mentor, but they also have the opportunity to learn on-the-job and develop key skills by actually doing the activity themselves.
In the CHOICE Flower of Participation, tokenism is when young people are invited to participate, but only in a superficial manner because in reality, young people do not have a voice and their opinions are not listened to. There is no space for them
to participate on an equal footing, and they don’t carry any decision-making power or responsibility. However, in contrast to manipulation, young people do enjoy some freedom of choice. CHOICE does not consider this to be a meaningful form of participation. It however happens often, since by inviting young people, it may give the impression to others that young people are being meaningfully engaged.
Transgender is an adjective to describe a person whose gender identity does not confirm to the sex which they were assigned at birth. A transgender person may or may not experience social and/or bodily dysphoria or unease and may or may not desire to change their bodies through gender confirming surgeries and/or HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Changing your body is not a criterion to be trans-identified and neither is your gender expression - since gender identity and gender expression can be separate.
Treaty Monitoring Bodies
Treaty-Monitoring Bodies are committees of independent experts who monitor the implementation of international human rights treaties, for example, the Committee on the Rights of the Child monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its optional protocols (additions to the convention). States which are signatory to these treaties are asked to submit reports every so many years detailing their progress towards implementation of the specific convention. At the same time, civil society can also submit ‘shadow’ or ‘parallel’ reports in which they make their own assessment of their country’s progress. During the review process, the monitoring body takes all of this information into account and provides a list of concerns and specific recommendations to the state in the form of ‘Concluding Observations’. Ideally, states should implement the recommendations they receive, however, unlike the treaty they have ratified these observations are not legally binding. Civil society can and should play an important role in monitoring and advocating with their government to ensure they implement these concluding observations.
For treaties which have a complaints mechanism like the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the monitoring bodies may also launch an investigation into cases of ‘grave and/or systematic violations’ of the rights protected by the treaty.