Whether they are under lockdown and out of school, in refugee camps or in crowded villages, detained, or living on the streets, institutionalized or on the move, children have a right to be heard. Child rights practitioners have a responsibility to find ways of understanding children’s views and amplifying their voices so they can inform policymakers, legislatures, professionals working with children, and governments.

So far, important actors in the international child rights and child protection community have been mobilised, including Terre des Hommes International Federation, UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, Centre for Children’s Rights of the Queen’s University Belfast, Child Rights Coalition Asia, International Young Catholic Students, Global Kids Online, KidsRights, State of Youth, Cure Violence Global, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex Youth and Student Organisation, Defence for Children International. The initiative is open for other organisations to join.

On 28 May, the initiative launches a global consultation survey to understand children’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and their views on how they wish to get involved. The survey has been designed by child rights experts and 270 children from 26 countries. Children and young people aged between 8 and 17 years old are invited to participate in the survey until 27th June. Child protection practitioners as well as parents and caregivers are encouraged to facilitate the participation of children.

Based on the results of the consultations with children, the initiative will accelerate the design of responses to the pandemic in the short and long term, while increasing opportunities for children to interact with each other to collectively create and innovate.

To stay up to date with the initiative’s news, you can follow its profiles on social media: