We facilitate participation of children and youth and support them to catalyse their leadership and campaigning potential.
Children and young people and their experiences are at the heart of everything we do.
As an alliance of organisations campaigning for the rights of children on the move to be upheld, we campaign for children’s right to be heard in all decisions that affect them. There are few avenues for such participation and all too often it is at a superficial level.
We want this to change.
Children and young people actively participate in Destination Unknown. We work with children and young people to design and deliver campaigns. We believe that children and young people on the move are well placed to initiate activities which could address problems faced by children on the move and so we seek to support them in this.
We are guided by the principles in our manual on child participation.
In Southern Africa, West Africa, Central America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia, Destination Unknown is strengthening the capacity of children and young people to know their rights and to raise their voices on issues that affect them. These children and young people are defining the advocacy priorities for Destination Unknown in each region so that we focus our efforts on what is important to them.
In all regions, we are strengthening a youth network and creating a safe space for children to launch and lead on actions of their own and fully participate in Destination Unknown. At global level, we support young people to understand and accompany them to engage in global migration and refugee governance processes, through direct participation in events and raising their voices in other ways.
More than 50 children and young people with experience of being on the move met in two different continents to discuss their own experiences of issues that governments and others debated as part of the Global Forum on Migration and Development meeting in Ecuador in January 2020.
Earlier this year, with support of Destination Unknown, a group of 16 children from across 4 Indian States met with the Indian National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights. They shared their dreams, hopes and expectations and a charter or requests for children which included: understanding them better; helping to make their dreams come true; getting an education; being protected; and treatment for health issues.
Idrissa from Niger, a member and communications coordinator for the African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY) in Niger tells us about his experience as a Destination Unknown youth representative in an historic week for global migration governance:
"I’m 25 years old. I started volunteering in the area of development and child rights in 2012 after lots of difficult experiences and personal challenges. As a child on the move, I experienced various child rights violations myself. I was supported by the AMWCY. I was inspired and committed to fight for ending all the bad practices which prevent us from living a childhood.
It was really a huge pleasure for me to participate in migration meetings in Marrakech last December. I represented a whole movement – more than 1 million children and young people. I shared experience of what I lived through. I learned a lot of new things that I had no idea about before.
The experience really inspired me to commit myself even more to protect all children affected by mobility. It was also important for the visibility of my organisation and an opportunity meet others we can work with."
Young people in Dakar and Budapest share their recommendations to world leaders discussing migration during the Global Forum on Migration and Development