25 Jan 2010

NORTHERN Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY), Patricia Lewsley, today launched a campaign to encourage children, young people, their parents, carers and teachers to 'Make It Right'. 

Twenty years ago the UK Government signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) - a list of 42 promises the government has made to children and young people- but it has not yet become UK law.

Through the 'Make it Right' campaign children and young people are encouraged to write to government, develop their own campaigns and help make sure that the issues that affect children day-to-day are brought to the attention of decision-makers and to make sure that the promises of the UNCRC are delivered.

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"I want to encourage children and young people to become involved in the campaign, to explain what the 11 issues really mean for them and how they directly affect them," said Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley.

"Each month we will highlight a different issue affecting young people through workshops, policy briefings, child-friendly resources and events with partner organisations.

"It is also an opportunity to educate others about the issues that exist for children and young people in their everyday lives.

"Schools, youth organisations and individuals can get involved by writing a letter to their local councillor, sharing what they have learned with others or by sending a petition to their local MLA.
"This will allow children and young people to have their voice heard when Government and decision-makers consider these issues in future,"
said Ms Lewsley.

This month the campaign highlights child poverty, which affects more than one in four children in Northern Ireland and already young people from Belfast Metropolitan College, Flax Foyer and Newtownhamilton High School have taken part.

Other issues highlighted will include Supporting Families, community safety, having a say, play and leisure, disabilities, looked after children, education, health and wellbeing as well as young people in trouble with the law. 

If you would like to learn more or find out how to become involved you can email NICCY on participation@niccy.org, visit www.niccy.org/childrensrights or call 028 90311616.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES For more information please contact Andrew McGall, Communication Officer at NICCY on 028 9031 1616 or   communications@niccy.org