Giving a voice to children

The Issue

The Challenges

UNICEF in action

Junior 8

Resources on child participation


The Issue

UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2009
© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2009
A young reporter interviews street children in Podgorica, Montenegro, during a UNICEF-supported OneMinutesJr video workshop.

Young people have the right to be involved in the decisions that affect them. The more they participate in decisions, the more they develop confidence, skills and aspirations. And the more they are involved in development programmes, the more effective these programmes become.

Young people in our region are putting the reforms of the 1990s to the test as the first generation to be educated, to search for work, to vote and express their opinions in a new landscape. The changes of recent years have opened up new opportunities for them, but they also face new risks. They must contend with poverty, unemployment levels that are three times higher than among the adult population and the trafficking of drugs and human beings. Many of their problems are the problems that face the entire region.

At the same time, they are the region’s most valuable asset. Dynamic and creative, they are forging ahead in business, in political life, in NGOS and in the media and are the driving force of regional economic and social progress. Their full participation in decision-making is essential.



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