NEW YORK, 27 September 2004 – UNICEF is always interested to promote the participation of children in matters that concern them. In a new effort to publicise the opinions of young people around the world we’re reaching out to those who want to contribute to the UNICEF website as youth reporters.
Our first report comes from a 17-year-old girl in Iraq. In a phone interview (mp3) she talks about life under Saddam Hussein, her experiences during the war and her hopes for the future. A fluent Arabic, English, French and Kurdish speaker, she wants to be a dentist or journalist when she grows up.
Child participation involves encouraging and enabling children to make their views known on the issues that affect them. Put into practice, participation is adults listening to children — to all their multiple and varied ways of communicating. It ensures their freedom to express themselves and takes their views into account when coming to decisions that affect them. Engaging children in dialogue and exchange allows them to learn constructive ways of influencing the world around them.