Children deliver message to PM

Two Newham youngsters joined colleagues from across the country to deliver a message to the Prime Minister on children’s rights.

Shivani Patel, 15, and Kadeem Graham, 15, handed in thousands of cardboard foot prints from children across the country to mark the start of a year of action on children’s rights.

Shivani and Kadeem were two of 19 children to visit Downing Street. The footprints they handed over to the Government featured written messages from over 3,500 children on why children’s rights are important to them.

Shivani said: “This was a really exciting opportunity. We are the voices of the future and our ideas and views should be heard.”

Kadeem said: “I felt excited to put across the opinions of lots of children. The UNCRC is important and it sets out everything a child is entitled to and makes sure adults don’t compromise these rights.”

The children’s messages were received twenty years after the UK made a legally binding agreement with the United Nations to uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The treaty requires that children be respected as human beings with views, feelings and ideas of their own.

Only two UN member states have failed to ratify the children’s Convention, making it one of the most widely supported human rights treaties in the world. Unlike the UK, many countries have made the Convention on the Rights of the Child part of their domestic law.

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The year of action, marking the twentieth anniversary of the UK’s ratification of the Convention, is being run by a coalition of organisations that work to promote children’s rights in England.