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Small Voices, Big Dreams 2013

Tinh, 12, Vietnam

In ChildFund Alliance’s annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey, a global poll that records the opinions of 6,500 children ages 10 to 12 in 47 countries, the young participants said what they think about violence, peace, happiness and their heroes.

Asked what they would do if they were in charge of their country, one in three would create stronger anti-violence laws. Three in four believe violence is caused by either bad behavior, poverty or alcohol and drugs.

Shravan, 11, of India, says that he would enact “a new stringent law to punish all those who commit crimes on children. I would have police arrest and punish those who ever tease girls while going to school. I would stop the sale of alcohol as it fuels much violence in villages.”

Read more about these children’s thoughts in this year’s report.

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The fourth annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey, commissioned by the ChildFund Alliance, is one of the most comprehensive polls of children’s views in the world. This year’s survey asked 6,499 children in 47 countries about their views on peace, violence, heroes and happiness.

What does peace mean to you?

Harmony/unity – 19 percent of children from developed countries; 22 percent of children from developing countries

No war – 34 percent of children from developed countries; 19 percent of children from developing countries

No violence – 21 percent of children from developed countries; 12 percent of children from developing countries

What makes you feel safe and happy?

Family – 65 percent of children from developed countries; 50 percent of children from developing countries

Education – 5 percent of children from developed countries; 25 percent of children from developing countries

Home – 19 percent of children from developed countries; 9 percent of children from developing countries

Friends – 31 percent of children from developed countries; 14 percent of children from developing countries

What do you think are the main causes of violence in your country?

Bad behavior (defined as non-criminal behavior, such as disobedience, laziness, greed and lying) – 33 percent of children from developed countries; 26 percent of children from developing countries

Poverty – 10 percent of children from developed countries; 21 percent of children from developing countries

Alcohol – 21 percent of children from developed countries; 13 percent of children from developing countries

Drugs – 18 percent of children from developed countries; 8 percent of children from developing countries

Social conflict – 8 percent of children from developed countries; 13 percent of children from developing countries

Lack of education – 2 percent of children from developed countries; 12 percent of children from developing countries

What is the one thing you would do to protect children from violence?

More law/order – 33 percent of children from developed countries; 28 percent of children from developing countries

Improve education – 6 percent of children from developed countries; 17 percent of children from developing countries

Guarantee kids’ safety – 11 percent of children from developed countries; 13 percent of children from developing countries

Who is your hero?

Family – 48 percent of children from developed countries; 44 percent of children from developing countries

Political leader – 5 percent of children from developed countries; 16 percent of children from developing countries

Teacher – 1 percent of children from developed countries; 7 percent of children from developing countries

For more info, visit www.childfundalliance.org.

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