Children's Forum Message
A WORLD FIT FOR US
We are the world's children.
We are the victims of exploitation and abuse.
We are street children.
We are the children of war.
We are the victims and orphans of HIV/AIDS.
We are denied good-quality education and health
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
world 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,
We see an end to exploitation, abuse and
- 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.
We see an end to war:
- world leaders resolving conflict through
peaceful dialogue instead of by using force,
o child refugees and child victims of war
protected in every way and having the same
opportunities as all other children,
o disarmament, elimination of the arms trade
and an end to the use of child soldiers.
We 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.
We see the eradication of HIV/AIDS:
- educational systems that include HIV
- free testing and counselling centres,
- 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 other children.
We see the protection of the environment:
- conservation and rescue of natural
- awareness of the need to live in
environments that are healthy and favourable
to our development,
- accessible surroundings for children with
We see an end to the vicious cycle of
- anti-poverty committees that bring about
transparency in expenditure and give
attention to the needs of all children,
- cancellation of the debt that impedes
progress for children.
We 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.
We 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
implementing, monitoring and evaluating all
matters affecting the rights
of the child.
We 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.
Until 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 differences.
We are the children of the world, and despite
our different backgrounds, we share a common
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
Message drafted, debated, and agreed by the
400 Delegates of the Children's Forum, part of
the United Nations Special Session on Children,
8-10 May 2002.
Delivered by children to the General Assembly
of the United Nations on Wednesday, 8 May 2002.