The Municipal Councils of Boys and Girls was founded beyond the Alps, in France, about forty years ago, in 1979. The first CCR was formed in Schiltinheim, a very small French community, in which the Mayor and local politicians dreamed of being able to create a political organizational structure in which children and young people could voice their interests firsthand. From that moment, in a few months, over a thousand CCR were born in France, in the towns and not only in those, but also in many schools of all types and levels. In Italy, the first CCR were born thanks to voluntary acts of the first citizens, of small and large cities, who accepted the invitation of UNICEF to become the first and important “Ombudsman for Children”.
In recent years, in Italy, the number of CCR has greatly increased from a few dozen to a few thousand, and is continuously increasing thanks to the fact that many educational institutions are also making the same choice of civic administrations.
The CCR are strategic choices of education for democratic and civic participation for all citizens, and they become opportunities for positive action as the living conditions of children represent the primary environmental indicators of the standard of living of the whole community.
We could basically summarize that the CCR gives back to girls and boys their importance as citizens in all respects, as in reality we all are. To achieve this, children require the support of adults who are highly mature and even more responsible, who are willing to listen and analyze,in other words, facilitators.
The first adults in this role must be the Mayor and the municipal administrators. It is necessary for them to be supported by schools which can adap a portion of their teaching for this purpose. This is possible thanks to the change in regulatory sensitivity, deriving from the introduction of civic education. The teachers of these schools are linking the educational institutions, families, and other social forces. Other figures to be included into this civic process should be the elderly, bearers of values and important experiences that are often underestimated and, alongside them, the many young people involved in civil service, and operators active in associations.
The CCR is a true place of exchange, proposal and reflection where young people are active and positive protagonists of the life of their country.
This body has propositive and consultative functions to be expressed through opinions or requests for information to the Municipal Council of the city, on issues and problems concerning the complex administrative activity, the different needs and requests that come from the world of youth or from citizens in general.
The decisions taken by the CCR in the form of proposals and opinions are recorded by the same and submitted to the municipal administration, if necessary. The CCR, further, may request the Mayor to place a specific topic on the agenda of the City Council of the city for its discussion.