Children and the future of Mozambique
The population of Mozambique is overwhelmingly young. In 2007, of a total population of 20.5 million, ten million were children under the age of eighteen years. One of the "fundamental rights" of children is participation. Children have the right to take part in discussions on matters that affect them. They have the right to be heard and to have their views considered. "Participation represents the right of rights holders – including children – to demand their rights and to hold duty bearers to account." Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (CRC). It is also enshrined in Article 22 of the Children's Act, the Mozambican national law for Child rights.
Youth have been an active part of the country's history and harnessing the positive energies of millions of young people is vital for sustained development and peace. Children that are aware and empowered are potentially the greatest agents of change for the long-term protection and stewardship of the earth.
Research has shown significant benefits for all stakeholders from engaging children in all matters that affect them. Children have key rights and unique abilities to engage in local-level initiatives, in child parliament discussing issues such as health, education, water and sanitations, protection, and other issues to improve their community sustainability.