Child power | The Changing Childhood Project | UNICEF x Gallup

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Child power

Most children lack the right to vote. But they can make their voices heard in other ways. Who is listening?

We conducted a survey among 15–24 and 40+ year-olds across 21 countries to explore how childhood is changing.

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How important do you think it is for politicians to listen to children’s voices when making decisions?

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On average, a majority of young people believe it’s very important for children’s voices to be heard.

That’s not too surprising. But it turns out that older people tend to agree with them!

% of 40+ year-olds who believe it’s very important that political leaders listen to children when making decisions
High-income countries
47%
Upper-Middle Income Countries
67%
Low-income countries
60%

Developing countries have the biggest majorities expressing support for political leaders listening to children.

It makes particularly good sense to listen to children’s voices in the developing world, where children make up a larger share of the population.

In low- and lower-middle income countries, 48% of the population are children. On average, 60% of older people say it is very important that politicians listen to children in these countries.

By contrast, in high-income countries, only 20% of the population are children. On average, 47% of older people in these countries say it is very important that politicians listen to children.

% of 40+ year-olds who say it’s very important that politicians listen to children when making decisions100%
Bangladesh30%Nigeria94%
0%

Among older people, we see the highest support for politicians listening to children in Nigeria…

…and Zimbabwe. In both these countries, half the population are children.

How can we encourage politicians to pay more attention to the voices of young people?

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