TAIZÉ

Coming with 15-17 year-olds

 

• If you are coming with a group, please first read the page Coming to Taizé with a group of young people.
• The additional information below is for leaders of groups which include minors aged 15-17.
• Children under 15 can only come as participants in the Meetings for families accompanied by their parent(s).

Parental authorisation

Minors need to bring a written parental authorisation for them to take part in youth meetings which names an adult to be legally responsible for them during their stay and to take any decisions regarding medical treatment. You may use the form provided here or, alternatively, make one for your own group. Please check whether your country also requires you to have a particular authorisation for minors to travel out of the country.

Accompanying adults and contact persons

For groups with young people aged 15-17, one contact person is needed for every 7 young people (preferably aged between 20 and 35, or else over 35 if younger leaders are not available) to help lead the daytime activities. This contact person will lead one of the small sharing groups, made up of around ten young people who have come with various groups. On your registration form please add these contact people as participants in the 15-17 year-olds programme. Adult contact people for 15-17s (accommodated in the youth area and eating meals with them) may contribute financially for their stay at youth rates if they wish.

Please ensure that all your group’s contact people for 15-17 year-olds are present for the explanation of their role given at a gathering on Sunday evening (time and venue indicated on your arrival). Important information is given concerning safeguarding for the small group activities they will lead.

As a group leader, you need to be particularly vigilant about the safety of the under-18s under your responsibility. In particular, please make sure they do not leave the Taizé meetings site.

Please check the legal requirements in your country for those who work with minors. Your leaders should bring the necessary documents (e.g. in the UK a DBS certificate) to Taizé to show when they sign up as contact people for the 15-17s group.

Accommodation

In accordance with safeguarding rules in France, we accommodate minors separately from young adults. To make sure the young people are well-behaved and get rest during the night, some leaders of your group should be accommodated nearby. These “supervisors” will often be those who are contact persons for the daytime programme of the 15-17 year-olds.

Safeguarding advice

- How should I react if a young person under 18 confides to me that they have been the victim of an assault (in Taizé, at school, elsewhere)?

Be aware of the procedures explained here: Reporting an incident, and apply them. In particular:
• Listen sympathetically;
• Remain calm;
• Do not ask overly intrusive or investigative questions;
• Say clearly that you cannot keep this to yourself;
• Tell only those who need to know;
• Be aware that you need to inform the people with legal responsibility for the young person, as well as the leaders of the organisation with which you have come to Taizé (parish, school, etc.).

- What protocol is to be followed in Taizé in the event of a criminal offence involving a minor?

For any criminal offence, the community is in contact with the state authorities.
Please also read pages Health matters and Safeguarding.

Last updated: 2 February 2024