“Listening to children is a promise you all made, when your countries approved the UN Convention on the Rights of Children”. This was just one of the important points raised at the Children’s Forum at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in November 2015.
Dressed as Superheroes, four students attending the Maltese Helen O’Grady Drama Academy were chosen to represent the 600 million children of the Commonwealth. They confidently raised important issues that transcend borders and affect us all such as the environment, diversity and inclusion and bullying.
“Many of you used to play in green open spaces when you were children. Many of us are not so lucky”, announced the Green Child, who explained that too many adults take decision to harm the natural environment without considering the consequences for future generations.
“No child should ever be excluded because of social class, ability, race, gender, sexuality, ethnic origin, religion or culture,” explained the Rainbow Child representing diversity and inclusion. “Put into practice what you yourselves promised, and the world will be a better and safer place for all of us, she concluded.
The Red superhero represented bullying and explained how the subject is often ignored in the hope that it will go away. “Involve the children in your discussions,” he said. “Together we will find real solutions to this serious and debilitating problem.”
“Listening to children is extremely important,” stressed the CHOGM child. “Every one of us, whatever age or ability, is capable of expressing ideas, imaginations, needs and worries.
The four caped crusaders concluded their address by proclaiming in perfect unisonas children of the Commonwealth: “It is my right to be heard!”
The Children’s Forum was attended by dignitaries of the Commonwealth including the Prime Ministers of Malta and Canada who both had words of praise for the children’s messages and for the clear, confident deliver of the children.