Children have the right to participate in decision-making. Many children want to campaign for change and contribute positively to the development of their societies.
Children know what works for them and provide creative solutions to difficult circumstances. We need their voices in the creation and implementation of laws, policies and budgets. We need their engagement to hold decision-makers to account.
Every year, Save the Children supports thousands of children across the world to speak out, campaign and influence change in the communities where they live, with their governments at national level and with the UN and other international organisations at global level.
Our goal is that children, including the most deprived and marginalized, have organised, influenced and campaigned on issues of importance to them in safe and meaningful ways.
However, children still face numerous challenges when speaking out.
Children do not have sufficient access to spaces where they can engage safely and meaningfully with decision-makers. They risk violence and intimidation when taking civic action and campaigning. And they often lack access to child-friendly information on the public issues they want to change. Children from the most deprived and marginalised groups face additional barriers, including girls, children with disabilities, and children on the move.
To overcome these challenges, Save the Children, together with children and other partners, are influencing governments to guarantee children's rights to organise, meet, access information and participate in public decision-making in law and practice and ensure that education systems provide opportunities for children to learn about their rights; critical thinking and the confidence to speak out.