About the survey

"Speaking Out! Voices of Children and Adolescents in East Asia and the Pacific” reports on a survey of approximately 10,000 children and adolescents aged 9 to 17, carried out by UNICEF's Regional Office in 17 countries and territories.

A good laugh in the town of Xunyi, China.

The young people interviewed were a representative sample of the children in each country and territory in terms of age, gender, geographic location (urban or rural) and socio-economic status. Representative of some 300 million young people, this survey is believed to be the largest and most comprehensive of its kind ever carried out in the region.

Survey questions focused on what children know about their rights, HIV/AIDS and other related issues, as well as their perceptions and opinions on family life, school and society in general.

Learn more about the
of the survey!

The survey was undertaken to promote the participation of children and to provide an opportunity for their voices to be widely heard and taken into consideration. UNICEF and its partners plan to use the survey results to advocate for the rights of young people and influence policy decisions. The region's governments will be encouraged to address the major issues and concerns noted in the survey's findings and to carry out more detailed surveys at the country level.

The survey's major objectives were to:
  • Promote the authentic participation of children and youth in decision-making by giving them the opportunity to have their opinions, views and concerns heard and widely shared
  • Help UNICEF and its partners gain a better understanding of the awareness and perceptions of children regarding their rights;
  • Obtain data and information that can by used by UNICEF and its partners to advocate on behalf of children and youth;
  • Identify the problems and issues that children and youth see as priorities for action. This information will help UNICEF and its partners develop stronger and more relevant situation analyses and policies to address these priority areas;
  • Identify priority areas for working with children through NGOs, schools, community groups and others as a follow-up to the survey;
  • Identify areas for further research and data collection.

The survey was designed - from the selection of interviewers to questionnaire development and administration - to elicit unbiased answers to unambiguous questions. However, it must be noted that the survey's results are based on unvalidated perceptions. For example, young children (9-13 years old) more often than adolescents (14-17- year-olds) claim that people hit each other at home. This may be factual or a subjective perception. In Australia, few respondents believe that life will be better in their country or community in the future. But, on the other hand, most express satisfaction with the current situation and therefore it would be wrong to conclude a high level of pessimism among the country's youth.

For more information on the East Asia and Pacific Survey, contact Mark Thomas, Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific.

About the survey
Feelings of well-being and outlook on life
Children and their rights
Information, knowledge and life skills
Threats to the well-being of children
Participation, communication and decision-making
Values, aspirations and expectations