THE VOICES OF FUTURE GENERATIONS INITIATIVE ON CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Promoting awareness about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)
Child authors publish and launch their creative and imaginative books about the CRC and SDG’s and enter into special partnership with leading global book publisher to promote better access and awareness of these important instruments.
On 07 July 2016 UN SDG child ambassadors, goodwill ambassadors and child authors met at Bloomsbury Publishing, London, for the launch of the 7 books that currently comprise the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Book series. The child authors excitedly presented their newly published story-books and explained how their story plots and characters relate to the CRC and SDG’s.
The child authors, goodwill ambassadors and representatives from Bloomsbury Publishing and the Voices of Future Generations Initiative signed an international partnership agreement to begin a special collaboration between the Voices of Future Generations Children’s initiative and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Bloomsbury Publishing has previously won the Nobel Prize for Literature and is a leading publisher whose books, such as those in the Harry Potter Series, have an extensive global reach. It is hoped that this exciting partnership will promote children’s literacy, education, joy of discovery and learning about sustainability, children’s rights, the environment, social justice and the interests of future generations.
Children leading discussion and engagement with experts, school’s children and teachers on the CRC and SDG’s
In the afternoon of 07 July 2016, a very special event jointly hosted by the Voices of Future Generations initiative and the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice was held at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London. This intergenerational learning circle included Voices of Future Generations child authors from around the world, UN SDG child ambassadors and children from local schools who came together to share their ideas about how they would address the Post-2015 SDG’s and about the world they would like to live in.
All of the children contributed brilliantly, offering their inspirational and insightful views on issues such as gender equality, climate change, human rights and access to education, amongst other deeply important topics. Several key themes emerged. For example, the children present keenly emphasised the need for all children around the world know their rights, as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They called for better recognition of their right to have a voice and to express their opinions. Working together was deemed crucial and the children appealed to adults for help and support in achieving their goals for building a better world. It was also overwhelmingly important to the children that all people should strive more for a sustainable world and less for beyond personal gain. As one of the children said, “once given a voice, we will speak, and once listened to, we will move forwards in the goal to give every child rights”.
Children present Future Generations Inspirational Awards to world leaders working to promote children’s rights, human rights, sustainable development and climate justice
A 2016 Future Generations Inspiration Award was presented to Professor Kirsten Sandberg by the child authors, in recognition and acknowledgement of the inspirational work she has done on the United Nations Committee to the Rights of the Child behalf of children globally. Professor Sandberg received the award at the Houses of Parliament on 7 July after she gave the keynote speech at the Inter-generational Learning Circle on Children’s Rights and Sustainable Development at the Houses of Parliament.
Another 2016 Future Generations Inspiration Award was presented to a second 2016 Laureate: Mrs Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Founder and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice. She received the award as a sign of gratitude for being an inspiring global mentor to both the children present, children around the world and for future generations, on whose behalf she campaigns for a better future.
This award was given to Mrs Robinson at a special and informal roundtable discussion held in London with children including child authors of the Voices of Future Generation’s Children’s Book Series and UN Child Ambassadors for the SDG’s. Mrs Robinson had an interesting and educative discussion with the children present, including They spoke about the challenges facing children all over the world, what children can do to help each other access their rights and how best to achieve inter-generational equity.