Children are mostly side lined in matters of decision making and conversations aimed at coming up with policies for the development of the nation. One would argue that at their level, there is little to be contributed in such high profiled discussions consisting of policy makers and those in authority. However, this is not the case.
In the recently concluded Africa Climate Summit that brought together Global leaders, Intergovernmental organisations, the United Nations and the Private sector, a high level of child participation and involvement was embraced. This is just one in a number of instances where children were actively engaged by being given a listening ear where they mentioned matters affecting them and how they would like to be addressed.
State departments in collaboration with non-governmental organisations dealing with children’s rights and their well being focus on ensuring the voices of the children are heard through giving platforms where they can raise their concerns to relevant authorities and be able to fast track the progress of their reports. This kind of practice should not only be adopted by children’s rights activists but also societal leaders in nurturing the children appropriately.
In such discussions, for instance the COP 28 , the language can be simplified by avoiding the use of jargons to enhance their understanding while giving room for them to voice their opinion concerning the topic of discussion. How wonderful could it have been getting to hear from the voices of children delegates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates concerning the Health deal that was discussed among many other issues?. Voices of children need to be heard in the COP 28 concerning matters that affect them most.
Children are the leaders and decision makers of posterity. The sooner they are made aware of purported tuff conversations in society , their role in it and how they can contribute to climate change mitigation and other global issues, the better it is for everyone, especially future generations.
By Arnold Fedha.