The World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP) finds among its members important professionals in the fields of pedagogy and education, intellectuals, activists and other professionals committed to early childhood (0 to 8 years old). The critical thinking and action-taking of our group has strengthened the production of different documents in response to diverse issues that affect boys, girls and their families.
World Declarations: they are public documents that put forward political and pedagogical principles and intentions, which stem from OMEP’s World Assemblies, so they are endorsed by all the National Committees that are part of them. World Declarations cover topics and issues regarding ECCE, and their goal is to: 1) coordinate their actions and those of each committee, and 2) demand the inclusion of ECCE in the political agenda of governments worldwide. In other words, the manifest is a document that sheds light on issues and puts forward ideas in a firm manner, with the goal of making changes and progress in favor of ECCE.
National and Regional Declarations: they are documents that respond to issues in context and the local political and pedagogical topics regarding ECCE.
Position Papers: they are texts that present an opinion about a problem related to ECCE. They serve as useful tools for advocacy work to defend early childhood and young children’s rights.
Adhesions: OMEP also participates in writing and promoting other manifests of NGOs that share its principles and goals.
Since its founding in 1948, World OMEP has kept consultative status at the United Nations (UN). At the moment, OMEP has SPECIAL CONSULTATIVE STATUS granted by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). OMEP was accepted by the UN because the work program it carries out is of direct interest for the goals and purposes of the UN. Among the requirements, OMEP’s trajectory, democratic constitution, representative structure, accountability mechanisms, and democratic and transparent decision-making processes were taken into account, as well as the contribution of resources made by national partners and individual members.
The consultative status is a major place to defend the children of our organization globally given that:
OMEP’s representatives at UNESCO, UNICEF, the United Nations and other international or regional organizations are appointed by the World Executive and their position is approved in the World Assembly.
1- AT UNESCO
OMEP was created, thanks to the support received from UNESCO, in the first World Conference on Early Childhood in Prague (1948), where delegates from 17 countries participated. From that moment on, OMEP was committed to cooperate closely with UNESCO, carrying out joint work in different instances and projects.
1.1 Liaison Committee NGO-UNESCO
OMEP has three permanent representatives at UNESCO and actively participates in the Committee that represents all NGOs officially associated to UNESCO.
1.2 Collective Consultation for NGOs (CCNGO)/Education 2030
Since 2015, OMEP has been an elected member of the “Coordination Group” of the CCNGO/Education 2030. For the 2020/2021 period, the elected representative is OMEP’s World President.
1.3 Education for Sustainable Development
OMEP has participated in actions regarding the United Nation’s Decade for ESD (2005-2014) and in the implementation of the Global Action Plan (GAP) for ESD. Today, OMEP continues participating in related initiatives.
1.4 Global Citizenship Education (GCED)
OMEP is working with UNESCO in order to educate children since early childhood to develop a citizenship that allows them to contribute, with a proactive attitude, to building a more peaceful, tolerant, safe and sustainable world.
1.5 Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
UNESCO calls OMEP as associated organization and specialist in ECCE to advice, inform, create strategies and write related documents.
1.6 UNESCO Participation Programme
The “Training Project for hydrology technicians in Africa” was established in 2017. This has been a strong contribution from OMEP in response to UNESCO’s main priorities: Africa, water and women. Initially, Congo Democratic Republic, Ivory Coast and Madagascar participated in the project, and in the 2019 edition, Senegal, Togo, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Burkina Faso also participated.
1.7 Other participations
OMEP participates in the extraordinary sessions for NGOs at UNESCO’s General Assembly.
It is also present at other events in relation to the international days for education, peace, literacy, girls, teachers, mother tongue and other key issues.
1.8 Regional and local work
Given that OMEP is made up of more than 70 National Committees and 5 Regional Vice Presidencies, it has created networks and joint work with UNESCO, with the regional and local offices and with the International Institute for Educational Planning, and has developed different projects and initiatives. OMEP has also participated in regional Education Ministers’ Meetings and in technical meetings at UNESCO.
2- AT THE UNITED NATIONS
2.1 NGOs Committee on Migration
OMEP had the position of Chair of the NGOs Committee on Migration for 4 years until July 2020 and is still a member of the Executive Committee. Its work has been put into practice in several actions, documents, declarations and the daily presence in the UN for the humanitarian cause of protecting migrants’ human rights. https://ngo-migration.org/about/executive-committee/
2.2 NGOs Committee
The NGO Committee on UNICEF is a New York-based coalition of NGOs affiliated with the United Nations. The Committee partners closely with UNICEF to advocate for the promotion and protection of children’s rights worldwide. The NGO Committee on UNICEF is an entity officially mandated by UNICEF to represent civil society and interact with UNICEF’s Executive Board. https://ngocomunicef.org/
3- AT OTHER ORGANIZATIONS IN THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM
OMEP participates in events and exchanges information with other specialized organizations in the UN, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), regarding topics on rights and care and education in early childhood.
Together with the International Labor Organization (ILO), OMEP has drafted the document “Policy Guidelines on the promotion of decent work for early childhood personnel”, available at: https://www.ilo.org/sector/Resources/codes-of-practice-and-guidelines/WCMS_236528/lang–en/index.htm
By political impact, we mean the processes carried out by OMEP to exercise influence on public policies, their implementations and resource allocation decisions within the political, economic, social and institutional systems oriented to protect the right to care and education in early childhood.
The actions include approaching governments, policymakers and public officials, and carrying out campaigns in the media, hosting public conferences, and publishing academic research, polls or informative campaigns.
Since the approval of the Education 2030 Agenda, OMEP has been committed to defending SDG 4.2, monitoring its progress and achievements, as well as overseeing investments and spending, demanding transparency in governance and in the budgeting processes.
The World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP) works in direct relation with other Civil Society Organizations and participates in networks of NGOs related to Early Childhood Care and Education and young children’s rights, which are also the goals of the organization.
Creating networks allows us to have better responses in the face of emergencies, to strengthen communication campaigns, and to broaden, directly or indirectly, our reach to more boys and girls.
Some Organizations we work with:
The Global Campaign for Education is a civil society movement that promotes and defends education as a basic human right. It works at international, regional and national levels to put pressure on governments worldwide to provide public, free and quality education. https://campaignforeducation.org/
The Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE, for its name in Spanish) is a plural network of civil society organizations that has presence in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This organization promotes actions to mobilize society and have a political impact regarding the human right to a transformative, public, laic and free education for everyone, throughout their whole lives and as a responsibility of the State. https://redclade.org/
OMEP’s Regional Vice President for Latin America and the National Committees of the Region participate in several joint initiatives. Among them, an important initiative was the study launched in 2018 on “The Right to Care and Education in Early Childhood: Perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean”.
The Early Childhood Peace Consortium works to benefit from social services to soften conflicts and promote social cohesion. It is a unified network of stakeholders from all sectors, including civil society, the media, public officials, foundations and philanthropic organizations, as well as professionals and scholars who defend the construction of peace and the prevention of violence through an agenda for the development of early childhood (DEC).
OMEP is one of the partners at ECPC and works actively in permanent collaboration, particularly on childhood issues regarding migration and refugees.
Euro Child is a network of organizations and individuals that work across Europe to promote the rights and wellbeing of children and young people. Its vision is to strive for a society where all children and young people grow up happy, healthy, confident and respected as individuals in their own right. Its mission is to promote the rights and wellbeing of children in public policies through promotion, exchange among members and research. http://www.eurochild.org
ARNEC is a network established to build strong partnerships across sectors and different disciplines, organizations, agencies and institutions in the Asia-Pacific region to advance the agenda on and investment in Early Childhood. https://arnec.net/