Stand up for children’s rights in the upcoming EU Elections

21 March 2024
Certification Children's Rights School Salzgitter. Two selected students moderated the event
UNICEF/UNI478723/Dölger

Brussels – 21 March 2024 - Today, at the European Parliament, 23 Civil Society and International Organizations working on children’s rights are launching the #VoteforChildren campaign. With the objective of  mobilising candidates to the next EU Elections to promote and protect children’s rights throughout the next legislature, child rights experts are calling on future Members of the European Parliament to commit to become Child Rights Champions. 

The #childrights manifesto which will be launched today outlines concrete measures to address the challenges children face today in Europe and globally and features recommendations to ensure that children's voices are heard, and their rights protected at every level of decision-making. The coalition wants to see a European Union that delivers for ALL children by mainstreaming and protecting children’s rights, breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality and engaging with children.

During the event, the Europe Kids Want survey results will also be released, offering insights into the current concerns and aspirations of children living in Europe. More than 9,200 children across Europe responded and shared their concerns about education, mental health, addressing bullying and violence. One of the most striking figures of the survey reveals that 80% of children living in Europe are concerned by the spreading of conflicts all around the world.  50% of the responders also indicated that they do not feel safe online, while 36% of LGBTQI+ children indicated that they don’t feel safe in their homes. In consultations, children also highlighted a sense of hopelessness and lack of trust in politicians' will to tackle climate change. And most of them (56%) believe that their opinions had a very limited impact on decisions taken. 

“Politicians are not interested in children because they cannot vote. This is why they are not aware of our problems. They believe that we will grow up and our problems will disappear”.- said Harry, 14, from Bulgaria.

“We are the present, not the future, we are here.”- Valentina, 15, from Croatia.

The children’s ask is clear: they want the EU  to act now to protect their present and build a brighter future. 

The #VoteforChildren campaign will last until the EU Elections, when a new class of child rights champions will be tasked with their most important job: realise an European Union for and with children.

For further information: childrightsmanifesto.eu

Contacts: 

Margherita Leone, Save the Children - margherita.leone@savethechildren.org

Louise Reeg, SOS Children’s Villages International - louise.reeg@sos-kd.org 

Media contacts

Marco Carraro
Donor Communications Officer
UNICEF Representation to EU Institutions

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