• 32% of children globally say that children’s rights to protection are not being met
  • 19% of children globally say that children in their country are rarely or never protected from physical or psychological abuse. 
  • 20% say children are rarely or never protected from doing harmful work in their country

Small Voices, Big Dreams

The above statistics come from the fifth annual Small Voices Big Dreams Survey, undertaken by ChildFund Alliance. The Small Voices Big Dreams Survey is one of the most comprehensive polls of children’s views in the world.

This year, to mark the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 6,040 children aged 10 to 12 years in 44 countries across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia were asked for their views on child rights. The statistics above are some of the findings from the poll.

Some marked differences in responses were found between children in developing countries and their peers in the developed world. For example, when asked which rights for children are not being upheld in their country, the top response from children surveyed in developing countries was access to school and time to study (29 per cent), which was cited by only 4 per cent of children in developed countries.

Small Voices, Big Dreams

Children in developing countries are also more concerned about child labour. When asked how well children in their country are protected from doing harmful work, 70% of children in developed countries responded always or often, compared with only 30% of children in developing countries.

What would children do to better the lives of children if they were leaders of their country?

  • 39% of children globally say they would improve education and learning opportunities and provide technology – this view is held more strongly in developing countries (51%) than developed countries (20%).
  • 24% of children globally said they would provide safety and security
  • 20% say they would provide food, clothing and shelter

Small Voices, Big Dreams

This year, Child Fund Alliance also invited children in eight countries – Australia, Colombia, France, Laos, Paraguay, Timor-Leste, the US and Zambia – to take part in an accompanying video project about children’s rights. The film, below, shows children penning their thoughts in a letter to world leaders.

ChildFund Alliance staff in New York presented the letters and drawings from the children to UN leaders and Member States on the eve of Universal Children’s Day.

You can download the full Small Voices Big Dreams Survey results by clicking here.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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