Be The Change


The United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child is an international legally bind-ing commitment which recognises the inalienable rights of children regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability. The Society of Southeast Asian Communities, Inc. supports this commitment on behalf of its young members and the communities it represents in New Zealand.

The Fundamental principles of the Convention include the right to non-discrimination, the right to survival, development and protection, and the right to participation. New Zealand ratified the convention in 1993.

UNICEF is celebrating the Year of Youth by recognising the right of children and young people to have a say on issues facing them and their communities. UNICEF NZ is encoura-ging young people to speak out about issues that affect them like poverty, child rights, the environment and development issues. To commemorate the 21 anniversary of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) in November 2010, the four Youth Ambassadors worked to-gether to produce a short video about the Convention and what it means to them and their wider community. They have recorded their own opinions and interviewed different people about child rights, and the situation of children in New Zealand and the world.

Watch The Video


To mark the end of the International Year of Youth, the UNICEF Youth Congress will have a strong focus on child-ren’s and young people’s rights, particularly the right to have youth voices heard. It is offering 50 young New Zea-landers (years 12 or 13) the chance to learn more about the world, share ideas about how to make a difference and gain the skills needed to take action for children!

UNICEF New Zealand is also proud to support five amazing Youth Ambassadors for the Year of Youth! Meet Franky, Anthony, Ashreya, Rachita and Jonathan!

The role of the ambassadors is to highlight issues that affect young people, promote the rights of youth and children and encourage children and young people to participate and take action on issues.


Development issues in the Pacific will be a focus of the con-gress and participants will call attention to the rights of children in the Pacific, ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in September 2011. The programme will include training on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, media skills, and using communications for advocacy.

In addition, participants will have the unique opportunity to contribute to a youth section of the 3News website providing a chance for young people to write or record what is important to them in the news and also for them to create the news agenda.


For your chance to attend the UNICEF Youth Congress and to become a contributor to the 3News youth website you will need to download an application pack which includes:

1. Your application form including contact details and a written statement of no more than 500 words addressing four key questions (as outlined in the application form);

2. Two (2) character references from someone in your community or school e.g. a community leader, teacher or sports coach; and,

3. A completed permission form from your parent or guardian.

Email your application pack to by 1st June 2011.

Phone/skype interviews for shortlisted applicants will be on 15th June 2011.

A ‘congress callout’ information poster which can be printed in any size can be downloaded using this link. Please forward this through your networks or print and post in places where young people hang out!!!

Thank you.


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