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Exercising Their Right to be Heard


Children present their proposals to government officials at the forum.
Photo courtesy of ChildFund Australia.

In the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ChildFundVietnam partnered with UNICEF, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision and the Vietnamese Government to host a four-day National Children’s Forum.


At that gathering, 126 child representatives spoke on behalf of children from all walks of life.

Vietnam VicePresident Ngyuyen Thi Doan attended, along with other government representatives. Open talks and discussions were held, and the children submitted proposals on issues as varied as child protection, nutrition, capacity building for teachers, upgrading health clinics, raising environmental awareness and supporting children in special circumstances.

One group was particularly worried about the shortage of water and sanitation facilities for disabled students at schools and asked if special facilities could be built for them.

“They [disabled children] have the right to come,” said the group. “We should build these facilities not only at schools but at public places as well.”

At the end of the forum, Vice President Doan said: “All children in the world have equal rights and it hurts me to see that a big gap of children live among our nation and other areas.”

She assured participants that all of their messages would be considered and acted upon.