During the summer of 2011, 10 young people from Belfast, North Down and Carrickfergus, participated in a youth peer advocacy training programme called “Road to Rights”. This programme was designed and delivered by CLC, with funding support from the Community Foundation NI and Lloyds TSB Foundation NI. Training included contributions from NICCY, the National Children's Bureau NI, Headliners and the NI Youth Forum.
The training enabled young people to link children's rights to the identification of local issues which impact negatively on their lives. Each group chose one issue of particular concern to their community and planned a children's rights campaign with a view to bringing about positive change in their local area. With support from local youth workers, the young people used the Road to Rights Campaign Toolkit, designed by CLC, to support young peer advocates in achieving their campaign goals.
The five youth-led children's rights campaigns aimed to remind Government of their duty under the UNCRC to ensure that...
- Children are not discriminated against - Article 2
- All decisions affecting the lives of children are taken in their best interests - Article 3
- All children can develop to their maximum potential - Article 6
- All children can participate in a meaningful way in all aspects of their lives - Article 12
Seven steps to achieving change for children and young people...
1 Where to Start?
Form a Group of Young People who Share Similar Concerns
Discuss issues that affect other young people in the community
Pick one thing you would most like to change
2 What Do We Want?
Set realistic goals and timeframe
Identify changes you would like to see happen
Write a ‘manifesto’ to set out your goals and to say what needs to be done and how you will do it
3 Knowledge is Power
Know your message
Research the issues to support your argument
Prepare for challenge
Phone Chalky for Information and Advice
4 What Help do we need?
Work with other young people and adults who share your vision for change
Get politicians to listen and support you
Identify the need for funding and how you will get it
5 Shout Out
Choose your campaign tactics e.g:
Run a ‘Rights in Action’ Project and take it to Stormont
Tweet Councillors and MLAs
Make a video and put it on youtube
Organise a petition
Write a story for your local paper
Start a Facebook campaign
6 We Got There
Write a press release
Tell local radio, TV and papers about your success
Tweet your achievements
7 What have we Acheived?
List your successes
Identify what you have achieved and what still needs to happen