NEW YORK, 15 April – UNICEF will launch the new Voices of Youth (VOY) website, upgraded and redesigned with new interactive features, on 19 April at the International Forum for Adolescents, taking place in conjunction with the 4th World Summit on Media for Children and Adolescents in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The new VOY represents a unique opportunity to ensure that children and adolescents can make their voices heard and that UNICEF is well positioned to hear them.
Supporting the empowerment of young people through information, awareness and skill building, VOY offers a safe space for children and adolescents, in both developing and developed countries, to collaborate with peers and decision makers, and discuss issues impacting them and their communities. The comprehensive and interactive learning modules and state-of-the-art discussion boards will also offer tools for community, leadership and capacity building, and contribute to knowledge and awareness of child rights and development related issues among youth globally.
With the Internet projected to reach 77 million young people globally by 2005, VOY represents a critical tool in the world’s effort to reach out to young people and create a world fit for children. VOY will be available in English, French and Spanish to ensure the active participation of children and adolescents from a multitude of regions.
VOY regards adolescents globally as its primary audience, but VOY also recognizes the long term value and impact of facilitating substantive and consistent communication between young people and decision makers who impact the lives of young people. Thus, VOY makes fostering intergenerational dialogue a primary focus of its programming aims.
Voices of Youth has provided young people around the globe with an opportunity to explore, discuss and take action on complex human rights and development issues since 1995. Its mission has consistently focused on exploring the educational and community building potential of the Internet to facilitate the active and substantive participation of young people.
Guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Voices of Youth draws strength from Articles 12, 13 and 29, which articulate young people's rights to participate in decision-making processes, to express opinions freely and to be equipped with the knowledge and skills that will empower them to bring about change in their own lives and in their communities.
For further information, please contact:
Seeta Persaud, UNICEF NY, 212-326-7412