“We know, so we should be listened to more.”

The Kids Network children and their mentors contribute to the civil society alternative report to be submitted to the UN.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child are examining the UK in 2023 on its obligations under the UNCRC. The examination is a key opportunity for civil society to raise important issues of concern affecting children’s rights with the UK Government and the UN Committee and to highlight where action is needed.

Just for Kids Law hosts CRAE (the Children’s Rights Alliance for England). CRAE works with civil society organisations to coordinate and submit the civil society alternative report which is due at the start of 2023. They do this by asking organisations to submit written evidence as well as holding oral evidence sessions on key issues relating to children’s rights such as education, discrimination, and alternative care. They got in touch with us at The Kids Network to invite our children to input to this process.

 The children in The Kids Network community are experts. They have lots to say and deserve to share their experiences and viewpoints at the highest level. Of course, we were delighted to plan a session with Just for Kids Law and CRAE to facilitate this.

The lovely lot at JKL booked a space in Islington, and ordered delicious pizzas for an after-school snack. Children and their mentors came from Hammersmith and Fulham, South London and Hackney and gave their opinions on a serious of questions the facilitators asked of them.


  • The children spoke about the ways decisions are made at school regarding their safety, comfort and wellbeing. They shared how there are leadership opportunities for them in their educational settings, including Council and Advocacy roles that shape school policy. Examples of how they and their peers affected things at their schools included getting new toilets, enabling children to become environmental champions, and deciding what assemblies were run.
  • They also discussed how they felt about their local communities, and the spaces they have to spend time with friends and family, relax and play. They drew mindmaps of what they enjoyed, and what they’d add to their local areas.
  • The children received vouchers for their contributions, and a previous child-friendly version of the report. The one that they contributed to, due to be published next year, will also be on its way to them in accessible format. Smiles all round!

With special thanks to:

Just for Kids Law, who do fantastic work empowering young people to learn about and stand up for their rights.

The children’s mentors, who believe in their mentees and stop at nothing to show them how much. We are recruiting for 400 volunteer mentors this summer! Apply to join us and learn from a little Londoner today: https://thekidsnetwork.org.uk/become-a-mentor/

Do you want to involve children from The Kids Network in your work, or learn more about child-led participation? Get in touch with Tigan at t.palmer@thekidsnetwork.org.uk.

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