How and why the polls were conducted

Through representative samples of boys and girls in 72 countries in East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the polls reflect the views of the 500 million children and young people between the ages of 9 to 18 living in the three regions.

Between late 1999 and early 2001, UNICEF regional offices conducted interviews with nearly 40,000 children (10,000 in East Asia and the Pacific, 15,200 in Europe and Central Asia, and nearly 12,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean), asking them open-ended as well as targeted questions about their lives, families, schools, communities and governments.

UNICEF plans to use the rich and complex results of the polls to guide our advocacy and programming support efforts over the coming years. We will encourage others to do likewise and to translate the voices of young people into better policies, more effective budgets and changed attitudes and behaviours towards young people's participation in society. Young people themselves will be encouraged to listen to the voices of their peers and to take inspiration and strength from that solidarity in dealing with the challenges they face.

The main objectives of the polls are to:
  • Promote the authentic participation of children and young people in decision-making by giving them the opportunity to have their opinions, views and concerns heard and widely shared with their governments, families and the public at large.
  • Identify the problems and issues that children and young people themselves see as priorities.
  • Identify priority areas for working with children through NGOs, schools, community groups, etc. in following up on the survey.
  • Help governments, NGOs, community groups, teachers, business leaders, the media and young people themselves to gain a better understanding of children's perceptions regarding their rights and identify key areas in need of improvement and change.
  • Help UNICEF and its partners better understand children's awareness and perceptions regarding their rights.
  • Obtain information that complements existing data, which can be used by UNICEF and its development partners to advocate on behalf of children and youth with the aim of developing stronger and more relevant situation analyses, policies and programmes.
  • Identify areas for further research and data collection.
  • Provide information for effective democracy and good governance.
  • Contribute to building the Global Movement for Children.
More about the surveys

Global findings

This information is provided as a contribution to discussion on important issues affecting children. UNICEF Regional offices conducted the polls, analysis and interpretations of the findings. For more information, please contact the regional poll contact person directly.