In November the Europe Kids Want project, a collaboration between UNICEF and Eurochild, released a report on the first results of a survey of over 13,500 children and young people across Europe. The survey asked for the views of children and young people on various topics, such as schooling, job security, violence, terrorism and climate change.
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What did the survey find?
The multilingual online survey received over 13,500 responses from 23 countries. The age range of respondents varied, with 3.2% of respondents aged 9 years or younger, 35.2% aged between 10-14 years old, 39.2% aged between 15-17 years old, and 22.4% aged between 18 - 30 years old.
The report outlines interesting findings pertaining to the concerns of children and young people over their future and wellbeing:
- Overall the top three fears selected by children and young people were not finding a job (53%), the possibility of war or terrorist attacks (48%), and climate change (41%).
- The top three concerns about online activities were: the posting of cruel comments or uploading unkind media (48%); others discovering private and personal details about oneself (37%); and people pretending to be somebody they are not (34%).
- The top ways that children and young people identified as to make schools safer were to make sure children who are considered ‘different’ are not mistreated (62%), that bullying should be stopped (43%), and to make sure no one can use or buy drugs or alcohol in or around schools (36%).
- The top three recommendations children and young people made to the EU were for the EU to help to keep peace in the world (54%), protect the environment (46%), and help to make sure everyone is treated equally (41%).
What do the results of the survey mean?
The report concludes with recommendations on what the EU can do to address the concerns of children and young people:
- The EU could continue to invest in the job market and in children’s future employability, such as investing in reducing inequality and breaking the cycle of disadvantage
- Children and young people should be empowered to be more involved in decision making processes as they are seen as leaders of change.
- The EU should continue to raise awareness and share good practices on how to protect children from different forms of violence, including online bullying.
- Member States and the EU should continue to promote and protect the rights of all children ‘regardless of their origin or migration status’.
- The EU should respect the Paris Agreement, which could ‘secure a healthy future for all children’.
The online survey, which launched in June, remains open and available in 29 languages.