What does the Youth Advisory Board do?
The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) has had a Youth Advisory Board since 2019 and members help us by:
- Being a voice on children’s rights
- Providing insight – about what children and young people like and care about
- Raising awareness – to help other young people understand our work
Members of the 2021-23 Youth Advisory Board had a handover meeting with the 2019-21 group, at the UNICEF UK office on 13/14 November 2021. Meet the group below and stay tuned to hear about their work in the months to come.
The story so far
The first Youth Advisory Board (YAB) group started meeting in May 2019 and have undertaken a huge amount of work since then. Here are some of Ciaran, Eddie, Isabelle, Magali, Maham, Michael, Niamh and Saema’s higlights:
Ahead of the General Election, on World Children’s Day the group spent the day contacting the main Party Leaders asking them if elected, to protect and promote children’s rights including their right to a safe and clean environment, and the best possible health.
In 2020 life changed for everyone and the YAB moved everything online and worked hard to ensure children and young people’s voices were at the heart of UNICEF UK’s work during the pandemic. They wrote an open letter to the UK Government here, and shared their personal experiences on Voices of Youth. On World Children’s Day they worked with their peers at UNICEF Australia to launch a climate unity collaboration and undertook a number of media activities.
In 2021 the group were undeterred by ongoing lockdowns and continued to make sure their voices on children’s rights were heard, including through:
- A global consultation that identified the biggest child rights issues, which informed UNICEF’s five year strategy.
- The recruitment and selection of both UNICEF UK’s new Youth Campaigns Officer and the incoming Executive Director.
- Co-creating the recruitment, selection and onboarding process for the 2021-2023 UNICEF UK Youth Advisory Board.
- An Intergenerational Conversation on Climate Change with Mary Robinson.
- A meeting with Helen Grant MP, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Girls’ Education
- An open letter to World Leaders ahead of the COP26 Summit before taking part in many activities including media interviews, a UNICEF press conference and side event.
Meet the 2021-23 Youth Advisory Board
Arthur is from Wales, where he’s a very active member of several youth voice groups – making sure that young peoples’ voices are heard across the city.
Arushi is from Scotland and is passionate about children’s rights, climate change, healthcare and adopting sustainable ways of living.
Elena is from London and her favourite form of spreading awareness is through public speaking, and making videos of/writing her own spoken word pieces.
Jamie is from South of England and is passionate about the power of education to empower young people to advocate for policy change and move the world towards a better future.
Lauren is from the South of England and feels driven to work towards future social change to ensure the health and welfare of all young people.
Poppy is from Scotland and believes that all rights are equally important in making sure every young person has an opportunity to develop to their full potential and are safe.
Samuela is from the Midlands and she believes it’s really important to learn about about social issues, and to actively speak to people affected by them in order to make the change that is necessary.
Zainudeen is from the South West of England and is especially interested in democratic rights, peacemaking and reconciliation.