Coloured clothes hang between the windows of house, arranged like a rainbow
Coloured clothes hang between the windows of house, arranged like a rainbow

Our Hopes for the Future:

A blog from UNICEF UK's Youth Advisory Board

As the UK approached the one year anniversary of  lockdown, members of the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK)’s Youth Advisory Board have written a blog – sharing their hopes for their future, for all children.

The end is nigh, at long last! A year after lockdown was announced, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and take the time to reflect on what this year has meant for us personally and for the nation.

It has been difficult for everyone, but the pandemic has significantly affected children and young people.

However, it is clear to see that despite being faced with one adversity after another, they have shown incredible strength throughout. Young people have shown themselves to be incredibly resilient and determined, using lockdown as a platform to communicate their beliefs and act on them – with youth-led climate strikes, Black Lives Matter protests and much more. In Scotland, a letter-writing campaign to protest unfair exam results led to thousands of young people in Scotland being awarded the exam results that they deserved.

In the Youth Advisory Board, we have done our best to be part of what is fast becoming an incredible movement of youth-led activism. We have created content to encourage a more open discussion about mental health and in commemoration of International Day of the Girl, World Refugee Day, and World Children’s Day. We also addressed young people going back to school in the UK to inspire hope and encourage them to continue their amazing work and use UNICEF’s platform to amplify their voices.

Coming out of lockdown, so much has been achieved – but young people are not finished yet.

Now, it is important not to leave young people’s accomplishments in lockdown behind as we hope to move through and past the pandemic in the coming months. It is time to put young voices at the heart of the movement to build back better – but what does this actually mean?

It may seem obvious, but simply put ‘building back better’ is about building back to a better world. It is about building back kinder, fairer, and more resilient; it means recognising the shortcomings of society and coming together as a nation to fix them.

We envision a world of peace, equality, justice, and global solidarity. A world where children’s rights are realised in their entirety across the world.
The Youth Advisory Board's thoughts on what 'building back better' looks like.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), provides a framework for addressing issues for children across the world. Essentially, it describes a better world for children – and we can use these rights to help improve the quality of young people’s lives. Coming out of the pandemic, we need to build back to a world where all children’s rights are met. We need to build back better.

Despite the challenges the pandemic has provided us, we can use this period of distress and disruption to reflect and catalyse change, reimagine our hopes for the future and create a better world. The UNCRC lays out the rights of all children to bre treated with dignity and fairness, to be protected, to develop to their full potential and to participate.

Building on this we choose to reimagine a world where children no longer feel like an afterthought.

Written by Eddie, Isabelle, Maham and Niamh, members of the UNICEF UK Youth Advisory Board.

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