Lilongwe, Malawi: An opinion poll on the mobile-based platform, U-Report Malawi, has found that many young people think that children’s voices are not heard and acted upon in Malawi.
U-Report, which allows young people to share their views through regular opinion polling, currently has over 182,000 participants called U-Reporters from across the country.
Ahead of World Children’s Day and the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on 20 November, a poll was sent out to U-Reporters across the country asking six questions.
Forty five percent of the respondents said they think children’s views are not heard and acted upon.
Fifty five percent of the respondents said children are unable to enjoy their rights because they don’t know how to claim their rights while 24 percent said children’s rights are not known.
Seventy sixty percent of U-Reporters in the poll were aware that the Government committed to the CRC to ensure all children have equal rights.
Most of the U-Reporters (38%) cited free primary education as the best thing that Government has done for child rights and 56% of them cited quality education as the most important thing needed to realize the full potential of every child.
The U-Reporters also asked the National Children’s Commission to prioritize lobbying for increased budget for children’s services when it starts its work.
Most of the responses are in line with what UNICEF is proposing to the Government of Malawi including promoting child participation at national and district levels as well as increasing funding to child services.
Since the launch of U- Report in March 2018, UNICEF has run over 25 polls including on harmful practices, secondary education, gender and sexual based violence, albinism and understanding child marriage in Malawi. Poll results reflect the views of registered U-Reporters, who may not be representative of the population.
~ U-Report/UNICEF Malawi/Rebecca Phwitiko