The State of the World's Children 2003
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Christine Norton/UNICEF/2002
‘Xpression’, a meeting organized by UNICEF, YMCA and
the Island People in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago,
brought together these young people with NGOs from
around the world to brainstorm on how to use music,
graffiti, hip-hop, fashion and sport to provide young
people with skills, services and a supportive environment.

What children see, they show
Children not only see the world differently than adults do; their abilities to share their observations differ with age. Words and phrases might come relatively easily for adults or older children, while cameras or crayons are often the most expressive media for younger children.

As part of an ongoing commitment to learn about the lives of children by listening to their ‘voices’ – in whatever voice they are most comfortable using, most of the photographs and drawings in The State of the World’s Children 2003 were created by children and young people. Read more...

 

Child participation: Myth and reality
Many myths surround the idea of child participation. One such myth is that child participation means adults handing over all their power to children. But in reality, participation means giving children more responsibility, according to their evolving capacities, carefully consulting them and taking their views into account. When children’s views are sensitively solicited and sincerely understood, they may reveal things that adults would never have grasped independently. They can profoundly change policies or programmes, and in some cases protect children from future harm. Read more...

 

A child’s ‘right’ to participate
The Convention on the Rights of the Child does not explicitly set forth children’s right to participate – except as a goal for children with disabilities. However, there is a ‘cluster of participation articles’ that provides the argument for the child’s right to participate. The cluster includes articles 5, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23 and 29. Read more...

 

Girls win big!
A group of girls in Mathare, Kenya, is blazing a trail for female participation in the world’s most popular sport: football. The Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) sponsors hundreds of football teams, offering education scholarships, running an HIV/AIDS education programme, a photography project and numerous other community-service initiatives. Read more...

 

Building nations
Children are speaking up around the world on legislative matters that affect them – and in many nations, governments are learning to listen. For example, a Student Parliament was born in Timor-Leste (East Timor) out of a vigorous campaign launched by UNICEF and its partners to educate young people about democracy. And in South Africa, children were consulted and accorded equal footing to participate with adults in the law reform process. Read more...

 

We asked them to speak
UNICEF and its partners conducted one of the largest multi-country surveys of children in 72 countries across East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin American and the Caribbean. The findings revealed that far too many children and young people lived in harsh realities. Government officials from many countries acknowledged that the polls brought home the importance of listening to children’s voices and of taking their views into account when making decisions that affect their lives. Read more...

 

Children and the media
The impact of children’s participation in the media can be seen throughout the world. In Albania, Troç, a news show produced by children and broadcast on national television, is proving to be one of the most innovative and influential forms of youth participation in the region. In Brazil, children and young people learn how produce videos, comic books, newsletters and radio programmes at the Casa Grande Foundation. And children aged 9 to 12 in China were selected by the China Central Television to be trained as young TV journalists at the Galaxy Teenagers’ TV Media Training School. Read more...

 

We are the world’s children
Some 400 young people participating in the Children’s Forum, an event preceding the UN Special Session on Children, agreed on the statement entitled ‘A World Fit for Us’ to be presented to world leaders. As the Special Session commenced on 8 May 2002, two young delegates selected by their peers stood before the UN General Assembly and delivered their message. For the first time ever, children formally addressed the UN General Assembly on behalf of children. Read more...