On the 30th of October a group of confident, empowered and determined young individuals united for the 5th meeting of the Organisation for Children and Adolescents (ONNA) of Huánuco, Perú in order to visit the different authorities and extract commitments which promise change and a greater recognition of child rights in the country.

Key issues which these young voices powerfully debated were child pregnancy, sexual abuse and human trafficking concerns. In the words of one of the participants “serious problems which require concrete actions towards them,” proposing tangible solutions to government officials in order to enact the change they wish to see.

Cardo Liberato Hilario, 14, talks of how violence is profuse within his society. Another participant, Yalina Ventura Poma, 14, confidently says, “They think we women are weaker,” advocating for a more equal and just society where discrimination based on gender is no longer present.

The children talk of dreams, goals and ambitions and how, in order to ensure equal access and opportunities for all, young people need more support in order to achieve their dreams: “We want for them to help us, encourage us, and, above all, guide us.”

This child led initiative is a powerful example of how- when children unite for a common cause- their voices can be heard at the highest level and, moved by their courage and ambition, change ensues.

See the video documenting the event below: