KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 – Most children aged 11-13 in Malaysia said providing affordable and nutritious food for all children would be their priority if they led the United Nations, according to a Unicef survey.
Out of 2,639 children across Malaysia, 76 per cent said they would prioritise affordable and nutritious food, 74 per cent said they would ensure quality education for all children (including children with disabilities, refugee and migrant children), and 73 per cent would focus on world peace.
“Ending gender-based violence such as rape, sexual violence and child marriage are amongst the top five popular choices for girls (60 per cent) and children who did not reveal their gender (66 per cent); compared to boys (55 per cent),” said the Children4Change Survey 2019 released today in conjunction with World Children’s Day.
“A clean environment and climate action received only 44 per cent of votes from the total 2,639 children. However, this was the most popular priority for children in Selangor (93 per cent) and Sarawak (86 per cent).”
Three in four children who participated in the survey feel positive about their world and their future in it.
According to the survey, 40 per cent of the kids are hopeful and looking forward to their future; while 34 per cent are happy and excited about it now.
“Children feel that their opinions are most appreciated by their parents (90 per cent), family (88 per cent), friends (83 per cent); and their teachers (79 per cent).
“Children feel their views are least appreciated by people on social media (16 per cent) and the government (31 per cent),” said the survey.
Nine in 10 children in Malaysia believe that world leaders or the leaders of their country should listen to children.
“Disaggregated results according to states reveal that children in Perak almost unanimously agree that their views should be heard by their leaders (97 per cent).”
Furthermore, 83 per cent of these children said that children and young people in Malaysia help achieve the world they want to live in by being kind and respectful to one another regardless of race, religion, sex or disability.
A total of 77 per cent said the ideal world can be achieved by protecting the environment (recycling, saving electricity & spreading awareness), whereas 75 per cent said that learning about issues relating to children’s rights is the way to the world they want to live in.
“While kindness resonated as the most popular action with children across most parts of Malaysia; protecting the environment was a favourite for children in Sarawak (90 per cent) and Selangor (91 per cent).”