Young people are a powerful force for change. Yet often, they are sidelined and overlooked. Following a successful pilot last year, the Amnesty UK Children’s Human Rights Network's ‘Use Your Voice to Demand Your Rights' competition returns to encourage young people to take centre stage and have their voices heard and acted upon in issues affecting them.

Whether it’s on government inaction on climate change, period poverty, rise in knife crime or cuts to mental health funding, there are tragically many examples of violations of children’s human rights in the UK.

 

The aim of the ‘Use Your Voice to Demand Your Rights’ Competition is for young people to speak and for adults to listen.

Participants will learn and develop practical skills in advocacy and in debating. Using the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, young people will be at the forefront of demanding their own human rights are respected and protected.

 

Young people from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales, up to 18 years of age, are encouraged to enter. One person from each age group (age 10 and under, 11-13, 14-16 and 17-18) will be the winner of their category, and will be invited to online training sessions from top Children's Human Rights professionals working in the field to strengthen their advocacy skills. 

Finalists will then have the opportunity to present their arguments in front of UK MPs, Regional Children’s Commissioners and Children’s Human Rights Professionals. Our hope is that these opportunities will be in person in early 2021, but if the current situation persists, finalists will be invited to online meetings.

Further individual prizes will be awarded after the regional meetings.

 

The submission must address the following question:

"What Children's Human Rights issue should society be doing more to tackle?"

Consider including in your answer:

  1. Why is your topic a children’s human rights issue?
  2. Why is it particularly important?
  3. Which Articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are most relevant to your children’s human rights issue? And why?
  4. Who needs to act, and what do they need to do?

You can either enter a 500 word piece of writing or a 2 minute video piece.

 

Pieces will be marked on:

  • Organisation and clear structure
  • Clear and convincing argument throughout
  • Anticipation and tackling of potential counter arguments

 

Deadline for submissions is Sunday 1st November at 11.59pm.

Regional Finalists will be selected by the 14th of November.

All young people are encouraged to attend the Amnesty UK's Children’s Human Rights Festival 2020 on the week leading up to International Children's Day on 20th November. Because of the COVID pandemic, this will be an online event, full of workshops, Q&As and training. Finalists will have the opportunity at this conference to attend bespoke training to strengthen their advocacy skills ahead of meeting MPs and other decision makers in early 2021.

 

Our full terms and conditions contain our safeguarding process, but we have also pulled these out into a separate document.