Message from the Children's
delivered to the UN General Assembly
Special Session on Children by
child delegates, Gabriela Azurduy Arrieta,
13, from Bolivia and Audrey Cheynut,
17, from Monaco on 8 May 2002.
We are the world's children.
We are the victims of exploitation and abuse.
We are street children.
We are the children of war.
Audrey Cheynot addressing the
U.N. at the Children's Forum
We are the victims and
orphans of HIV/AIDS.
We are denied good-quality
education and health care.
We are victims of political,
economic, cultural, religious and environmental discrimination.
We are children whose voices
are not being heard: it is time we are taken into account.
We want a world fit for children, because a
fit for us is a world fit for everyone
In this world, We see respect for the rights of the child:
Governments and adults
having a real and effective commitment to the principle of children's
rights and applying the Convention on the Rights of the Child to all
Safe, secure and healthy
environments for children in families, communities, and nations.
see an end to exploitation, abuse and violence:
Laws that protect children
from exploitation and abuse being implemented and respected by all,
Centres, and programmes that
help to rebuild the lives of victimized children.
see an end to war:
addressing the U.N. at the
World leaders resolving
conflict through peaceful dialogue instead of by using force,
Child refugees and child
victims of war protected in every way and having the same opportunities as
all other children,
Disarmament, elimination of
the arms trade and an end to the use of child soldiers.
see the provision of health care:
Affordable and accessible
life-saving drugs and treatment for all children,
Strong and accountable
partnerships established among all to promote better health for children.
see the eradication of HIV/AIDS:
Educational systems that
include HIV prevention programmes,
Free testing and counselling
Information about HIV/AIDS
freely available to the public,
Orphans of AIDS and children
living with HIV/AIDS cared for and enjoying the same opportunities as all
see the protection of the environment:
Conservation and rescue of
Awareness of the need to
live in environments that are healthy and favourable to our development,
Accessible surroundings for
children with special needs.
see an end to the vicious cycle of poverty:
Anti-poverty committees that
bring about transparency in expenditure and give attention to the needs of
Cancellation of the debt
that impedes progress for children.
see the provision of education:
Equal opportunities and
access to quality education that is free and compulsory,
School environments in which
children feel happy about learning,
Education for life that goes
beyond the academic and includes lessons in understanding, human rights,
peace, acceptance and active citizenship.
see the active participation of children:
Raised awareness and respect
among people of all ages about every child's right to full and meaningful
participation, in the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
Children actively involved
in decision-making at all levels and in planning, implementing, monitoring
and evaluating all matters affecting the rights of the child.
pledge an equal partnership in this fight for children's rights. And while
we promise to support the actions you take on behalf of children, we also
ask for your commitment and support in the actions we are taking, because
the children of the world are misunderstood.
We are not the sources of problems; we are the
resources that are
needed to solve them.
We are not expenses; we are investments.
We are not just young people;
we are people and citizens of this world.
others accept their responsibility to us, we will fight for our rights. We
have the will, the knowledge, the sensitivity and the dedication.
We promise that as adults we will defend children's rights with the same
passion that we have now as children. We promise to treat each other with
dignity and respect. We promise to be open and sensitive to our
We are the children of the world, and despite our different backgrounds,
we share a common reality. We are united by our struggle to make the world
a better place for all. You call us the future, but we are also the