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Do young people feel listened to?

Wednesday 18th December 2019

Article 12 of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child assures all children who are capable of forming their own views of the right to be heard and taken seriously. This right is described by the UN as “one of the fundamental values of the Convention”. But do young people really feel listened to in society?

The Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Report 2019 found that, much like adults, young people have a diverse and wide-ranging set of opinions. However, a majority of those who took part in the consultation felt that their views were not being listened to or taken into account.

Comments made by young people that were highlighted in the report included:

We rarely get a choice to say what we think.

Young people should have a say because they are the future.

The Boys’ Brigade is proud to empower our young people and give them a voice, through initiatives and partnerships with other organisations as well as Brigade activities including KGVI courses, youth networks and events that are driven by young people. However, the Brigade’s recent strategic review still highlighted similar concerns among young people in our own movement as found in wider society.

Often you will find that young people are asking leaders [for something] and not getting [it]. And it’s because “We know BB better than you and you don’t need to tell us how to run it.
Quote from a focus group held as part of the strategic

It’s clear that young people value the opportunity to have their say and feel like they are being listened to, so what more can be done to ensure this happens?

Discussion points

Why not initiate a discussion with your young people to find out how they feel? Some ideas to get the conversation going…

  • Do you feel that you have the opportunity to have your say in society?
  • If so, do you feel that your voice is listened to?
  • What do you think the barriers are to the voice of young people being heard?
  • What more could society do to listen to young people?
  • What issues in society are of most concern to you?

You could also get similar discussions going about their experiences within BB. It is important to consider how you listen to what the young people say and what action could be taken as a result.

Share the views of your young people…
Consider sharing some of the views of your young people by tweeting @BBgazette or emailing gazette@boys-brigade.org.uk

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