The children have spoken – 2,639 children aged 11 and 13 from across all 14 states in Malaysia took part in the UNICEF Malaysia 2019 Children4Change poll, supported by WOMEN:girls. Check out the results, and let us know in the comments if you agree!
Read the Full Report: Children4Change 2019 Survey Report – My World
1. MY PRIORITIES
Q: What would you want to improve for children if you were the head of the United Nations?
- Children’s most popular choices #foreverychild are: 1) Access to affordable and nutritious food; 2) Quality education for all, including children with disabilities, migrant and refugee children; and 3) World Peace.
- Ending rape, sexual violence and child marriage are among the top 5 popular choices for girls (60%), compared to boys (55%).
- A clean environment and climate action are the most popular priority for children in Selangor (93%) and Sarawak (86%).
- Interestingly, children’s least popular priority is to ensure every child has a phone and internet access, with just 1 in 5 girls and 2 in 5 boys surveyed voting for it.
2. MY FEELINGS
Q: How do you feel about the world and your future in it?
- 3 in 4 children feel hopeful, excited and happy about their world and their future in it.
- Children from Melaka and Sabah are the most positive about their world.
- However, 1 in 4 children have negative feelings about their world and future – ranging from concern, worry, uncertainty and nervousness.
3. MY VOICE
Q: Do other people listen to your opinions and views?
- Children feel that their opinions are most appreciated by their parents, family, friends, and their teachers.
- The Children4Change poll also revealed that children feel their views are least appreciated by people on social media.
- Only 27% of teens (13 years old) feel their opinions matter to the government, compared to 35% of pre-teens (11 years old).
- Children in Kelantan generally feel that their views matter to less to their family, community and government compared to children in other states.
4. HEARD BY LEADERS
Q: Should World leaders or leaders of your country listen to children?
- 9 in 10 children who responded to the Children4Change poll believe that World leaders or the leaders of their country should listen to children.
- Children in Perak almost unanimously agree that their views should be heard by their leaders (97%).
- However, only 1 in 2 children in Kelantan believe that World Leaders or leaders in their country should listen to children.
5. MY ACTIONS
Q: How can children and young people in Malaysia help achieve the world they want to live in?
- According to the Children4Change poll, 8 in 10 children believe that kindness and respect to one another regardless of race, religion, sex or disability is the way to go to make the world a better place.
- While kindness resonated as the most popular action with children across most parts of Malaysia; protecting the environment was a favourite for children in Sarawak (90%) and Selangor (91%).
- A popular choice for children in Perlis (top 3 highest votes) was making friends with children from different background.
6. MY BIRTHDAY GUEST
Q: If you could invite a famous living person to your birthday party, who would you invite?
- The Children4Change Poll revealed some 135 names comprising a broad range of aspirational famous persons that include a mix of politician, persons from the world of entertainment and sport as well as religious leaders.
- Topping the list is Malaysia’s Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, followed by K-Pop groups BlackPink and BTS.
- Malaysian hip-hop group K-Clique clinched third place while fourth was shared by football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Malaysian singer Mira Filzah and comedian Zizan Razak.
“We always say ‘children are the future’, but we must remember that they are also the present – and that means they have the stake in the world today” said Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia. “The 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is an opportunity for us to reflect on the situation of children’s rights in Malaysia, as we progress towards the implementation of Agenda 2030. Children are agents of change, and we must provide them the space and opportunity to actively participate in building a better and more inclusive world for themselves and their communities.”
The Children4Change poll was conducted during the World’s Largest Lesson School Workshops in Malaysia, between 25 June and 5 September 2019. The Children4Change polls provide children in Malaysia with a platform to share their concerns and aspirations about the world they live in.