Young people present report to UN

EVERY six years the UK Government gets examined on the state of their children s rights, this is a chance for Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and children s commissioners to really say what they

Report by IMOGEN WALSH

EVERY six years the UK Government gets examined on the state of their children's rights, this is a chance for Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and children's commissioners to really say what they think about children's rights in the UK.

Reports are compiled and sent to the UN for examination, but this year young people visited Geneva and talked to the committee on the rights of a child to make their voices heard.

On June 10 myself and 11 other young people who had written a special report on the behalf of the Children's Rights Alliance for England took the trip of a lifetime to the United Nations in Geneva.


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It was a fantastic day for all the young people

representing their country as the committee really listened to us and was very grateful to have young people in their meeting for the first time.

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There were two meetings on the day that the UK was examined, one was a formal meeting for the NGOs and commissioners to discuss more technical aspects to children's rights and the other was an informal meeting for all the young people to be with the committee in a more friendly environment.

However, this was the first year that two young people from each jurisdiction attended the formal meeting and were involved further in the examining process. Luckily, I was asked to attend this meeting along with another young person on the English delegation.

We gave a five minute presentation to the committee highlighting the issue most personal to ourselves. I covered a wide range of topics including:

* More education is needed in schools on the topic of children's rights.

* More counselling in schools to deal with issues such as exam stress.

* Better access for young people to leisure facilities and other recreational activities.

The aim of our trip to Geneva was to make clear the important flaws in the UK regarding our rights as young people.

Each country made their main recommendations and the committee will then decide what recommendations they would like to make to the UK Government.

The concluding observations will take place in October but meanwhile campaigning will be taking place, making people aware of the importance of the report which was written.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip for everyone involved and certainly inspirational for myself and the other young people.

If you would like to find out more about the report or even the Children's Rights Alliance for England then visit www.getreadyforgeneva.org

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