“Priority for Children”: 3000 Portuguese people joined UNICEF´s appeal

In February, in the countdown to the legislative elections, UNICEF Portugal invited children and adults to send letters to political parties, asking decision- makers to put Children’s Rights on the political agenda and to commit to their effective fulfilment.

In total, 2969 Portuguese children and adults replied to UNICEF’s appeal. The letters reached candidates during the Legislative Elections. There were two letter templates – one for children and one for adults, both can be accessed at https://www.unicef.pt/eleicoes-2024-carta/

The children’s version highlighted the replies gathered from twelve thousand interviews conducted with children for the study “My opinion matters”. The content of the responses indicated that they want to be heard more by adults, have more opportunities for participation, better health and education, more protection from violence and from the dangers of the digital world.

The content of the adults’ letter reminded politicians that, in Portugal, one out of five children live in poverty and asked for concrete measures. In addition to the creation of a ministerial department to coordinate issues aimed for children and adolescents, and to adopt effective measures to eradicate poverty and offer guarantees for equal opportunities; for investment in education, housing and health; to ensure prevention and protection against violence.

The initiative Priority for Children emerged following a Manifesto launched by UNICEF Portugal also within the scope of the 2024 legislative elections entitled “More than 1.8 million reasons to”, in an allusion to the number of children living in Portugal today. The 12-page document portrays the reality of children in Portugal and presents ways to improve their standard of living. The Manifesto can be read at https://www.unicef.pt/media/4195/unicef_manifesto_eleicoes_legislativas_2024.pdf

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