Who is our protagonist?
How old is Tymon?
Tymon is 19 years old
Where is he promoting his activities?
Tymon lives and carry out his work in Poland
When has he started his campaign?
He started when he was still under 18, but his work is still ongoing!
THE CONTEXT: What was the challenge that he wanted to address?
Tymon realised as a child that people his age are rarely allowed to attend public hearings at Polish courts, nor are they given the right to access public information, which would be one important safeguard against possible breaches of rights by public authorities.
Tymon felt that this practice is unfair, especially when it comes to cases concerning the rights of minors and decisions are still taken by adults, while children are not even heard.
Tymon believed that being a child is not a well justified reason for minors to be excluded from their rights of being informed and heard
Who was primarily affected by the challenge?
The problem concerned minors, as their rights to access public files or attend court hearings was restricted. Tymon, being a minor himself, decided to make efforts for strengthening the basic human rights of children, in particular ensuring that the law and public institutions provide them with similar rights as the adults.
He soon realised that his struggle might overgrow him personally. Therefore, he expanded the scope of his activities and started to fight for the rights of all children to be heard by authorities.
THE INTERVENTION: What initiative was then promoted by Tymon?
Tymon filed petitions to authorities and documented his work on online platforms, especially on Twitter, to gain more visibility and public support for his actions. His campaign was clearly addressed directly to public authorities. At the same time, he found it necessary to also inform the public at large on all his actions. By alarming the public he succeeded to exert more pressure on authorities that excluded the option for inaction by Polish authorities.
Since Polish printed and social media regularly informed the public about the actions taken by Tymon, the whole society was provided with up-to-date information. This combination of both offline and online activities gave him a higher chance for successfully implementing his plans.
What are the outcomes and results of these initiatives?
At the beginning, the Polish authorities were rather reluctant to deal with the petitions of Tymon, as the then legal system and relevant laws of Poland prohibited children’s participation in legal procedures. Hence, a complete change of attitude in the Polish legal and executive administration had to be obtained for the success and a wide range of online and offline channels, printed and social media had to be used by Tymo for mobilizing public attention.
As Tymon’s actions started to be taken seriously by authorities and he gained access to information he wanted to, the whole game changed for his advantage: he became an adviser of a Polish minister, Ms. Anna Streżyńska, Minister of Digitisation, responsible for electronic public administration services for minors. His new position has greatly helped him in completing his struggle for the rights of minors and children in Poland.
Why is this initiative considered successful? What consequences can be clearly identified thanks to it?
The prerequisites of the successful activities of Tymon included his interest for public affairs and courage to launch a fight for his own rights whereas he effectively used both online and offline possibilities. His actions including his petitions forced the parliament to change the Code of Civil Procedure and the Law on proceedings before administrative courts.The results of his activities enabled Polish children to attend administrative and civil court meetings and represent themselves in court.
As acknowledgment of his struggle, Tymon was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2017 by Marek Michalak, Ombudsman for Children in Poland. He was one of the three finalists, the award is bestowed annually to a child who bravely fights for the rights of children.
2019, he was awarded the inclusion on the Forbes list “25 Under 25” Poland in the category “Social activity” for activities aimed at ensuring young people the opportunity to fully exercise their rights, in particular political rights.