On World Children’s Day, meet the children standing up for children’s rights

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A group of children hold signs during a climate march.

People often say that ‘children are the future’ - but this group of young advocates isn’t waiting for the future to change their classrooms, communities and countries.

Tackling issues like climate change, child labour, stigma, exclusion and gender inequality, they’re committed to making the world better for other children.

On World Children’s Day 2019 we challenge you to get inspired by this group. 

What are you standing up to? 

What are the issues that you care about that will make the future brighter for children? 

Share your message on social media using the hashtag #WorldChildrensDay or write a blog post for the Voices of Youth site.

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A photo of Lord in a classroom.

“Growing up with blindness, I noticed that the concept of educating the blind was almost unheard of in my community. So, when I came to school, I was determined to show everybody that I could also make it.

Some of the things I want to change in my community include how society sees people with disabilities. I want society to see us as people with great potential, and give us the chance to exhibit this potential.”


- Lord, 17, comes from Ghana. He has been educating his community about people with disabilities and inspiring his peers with his message about dedication and perseverance.

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Yana stands with trash cans for different waste materials.

“The paradox of today is that people have to save the planet from themselves. And it is really scary and alarming. But I have a dream about our environment getting better.

My dream is about adults teaching their children to appreciate our planet. And it is about young people using all the information and knowledge that they have to take care of the Earth. It is about children and adults working hand-in-hand.

My dream is worth fighting for.”

 

- Yana, 16, is from Dobropilia, Ukraine. Together with her friends she grows and plants trees and plants, sorts waste, and is educating her community about the environment as part of a local project called Eco Boom.

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A photo of Felipe sitting outside

“I am fighting for my rights and that of millions of other children. Adults need to hear our voices. Fighting for these rights is as important as a country's economy or winning a world cup.

Participation is not a privilege. Participation is a right.”

 

- Felipe is a 17-year-old child rights advocate from Brazil. As a young boy, Felipe spent long hours working to help his family. Today, he’s working to ensure that no other child has to do the same

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A picture of Timoci on a beach in Fiji

“For those of us who live in island nations, we are already seeing and feeling and living the consequences of a warming planet. 

Climate change affects us all. We need everyone to understand that we must work as a team before it’s too late. Speak up, this is our time.”

 

- Timoci, 14, is a climate advocate from Fiji. In 2017 Timoci delivered a powerful statement at COP23 in Bonn, Germany, which has since reached millions of people around the world. In May 2019, Timoci met with the UN Secretary-General during his visit to Fiji and in September 2019, he co-chaired the intergenerational townhall at the UN Youth Climate Summit.

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Hinna signs an agreement, in which she was officially appointed as UNICEF Afghanistan Youth Ambassador.

"It is my personal dream to change someone else's life, to serve my country, to promote equality between girls and boys, and to make Afghanistan a better place to live.

I want to bring such a change that other generations will read about me in their history books, keeping my dreams alive even after I’m long gone."

 

- Hinna is a highschool student from Kabul, Afghanistan. She has worked as a part-time presenter for Shamshad TV for the past eight years, hosting her own programme called ‘Hinna’. Each week she interviews a key political figure on issues affecting the wellbeing of children. She is UNICEF Afghanistan’s first Youth Ambassador.

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Alexandria at a Frudays For Future march in Times Square New York

“I believe those who are causing our planet to heat up, destroying our ecosystems and biosphere that we depend on for life, are violating my rights as a child.

I believe the children of the world have the right to a stable climate system, that will support our development and life, as well as the life of future generations.”

 

- Alexandria Villaseñor is a high school student and #FridaysForFuture climate activist. Her interest in climate action was sparked when she experienced first hand, the impact of wildfires in California in 2018.  Inspired by Greta Thunberg, in December 2018, she began occupying a bench outside the UN Headquarters in New York, to protest inaction on climate change.

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