NSI and UNICEF Bulgaria celebrate together 1st of June – Children's Day

Children with specific recommendations to EU politicians

31 May 2024
Снимка на младежи с тениски на УНИЦЕФ
UNICEF/2024/DobrinMinkov

Sofia, May 31, 2024.  For the second consecutive year, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) and UNICEF Office in Bulgaria celebrate together the June 1 – International Children's Day and congratulate all 1,104,198 children living in the country on this special day. 

This year, the NSI presents the publication "Children in Bulgaria", which collects all available data from 2023. The information is divided into topics – "Population", "Health", "Education", "Antisocial Acts and Crimes of Minors", "Social Inclusion and Living Conditions", and "Culture". This year's publication also includes data on the income and expenditure of households with children, which are collected by the National Statistical Institute.  

The aim of the publication is to support the activities of all state institutions and non-governmental organizations, as well as policy-makers, politicians and decision-makers who are involved in improving  the well-being of children in the country. This will facilitate the work on the development and changes in the legislation and strategic documents, as well as the implementation of key educational, health and social policies.   

In addition to official statistics, which show the current situation in the country, UNICEF pays special attention to regular consultations with children, in order to understand the most important issues for them. Five child rights organisations – Child Fund Alliance, Eurochild, Save the Children, SOS Children’s villages and UNICEF – approached thousands of children and young people to gather their views on the future of Europe ahead of the European elections in the poll: "Our rights. Our future. The Europe we want to live in."

The survey involved more than 9,200 children in ages between 10 and 18 from the European Union countries, including Bulgaria, who gave specific recommendations to EU politicians in 10 areas to take them into account and take appropriate actions to promote and protect children’s rights throughout the next legislature. They call for prioritizing the topics of education, mental health, action against bullying and violence against children, creating more job or study opportunities, taking action against wars and conflicts, and tackling climate change.  

Education is one of the top priorities for children across Europe. When asked what they would like to learn in school, 75 per cent of children indicated life skills in the first place. 

"We all need to acquire practical skills to help us in everyday life. For example, it is very important to know how to save money." (Niya, 16, Bulgaria).

Two out of three children feel that pressure at school has a negative effect on their mental health. Social difficulties such as loneliness (56%), bullying (51%) or discrimination (46%) are also significant factors that contribute to mental health problems in children and youth.

Safety, especially in public places and online, is another pressing issue for children, according to the survey. Only 50 per cent  of children feel safe online, and less than half of those surveyed feel safe at school.

Another striking figure of the survey reveals that 80% of children living in Europe are concerned by the spreading of conflicts all around the world.

70 per cent  of children  asked  for more opportunities to participate in decision-making to ensure that their views are heard on issues that affect their lives.

"Politicians don't care about children because they can't vote. They have no idea of our problems. They believe that we will grow up and our problems will disappear" (Harry, 14, Bulgaria).

Climate change is another major concern that many children share about their future, and 69 per cent  of them feel that politicians are not doing enough to tackle climate change.

Children urge adults to remind themselves that children are not just the future. Their priorities are relevant here and now.

"We are the present, not the future, we are here." (Valentina, 15, Croatia)

A summary of the study "The Europe we want to live in" can be found here.

The full text of the survey is published on the website of UNICEF Bulgaria here.

The NSI publication "Children in Bulgaria" can be found here.

See here the results UNICEF is achieving for children around the world in our global annual report. 

 

Media contacts

Nadya Marinova
Communications Associate
UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel: 0888 552 645
Tel: 0899 058 087

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