The Hackney Youth Charter
The Hackney Youth Charter has been developed and revised by young people in 2008 and 2014 to support the active involvement of children and young people in decision-making. The charter outlines young people’s expectations, and provides organisations with a good practice guide for the involvement of children and young people.
The Hackney Youth Charter reflects rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child (UNCRC). The UNCRC grants all children and young people a universal set of rights to ensure that they have a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood regardless of their sex, religion, ethnicity, social or geographical origin. It underpins and enforces the duty of all organisations working with and for young people to involve them and listen to them when planning any services which affect their or their families’ lives.
The Hackney Youth Charter
- We have the right to be involved and have a say in planning projects and services which affect us, our family, communities and environment in a real and meaningful way.
- We are all different and all equal and our participation matters. We want and need to be involved in ways which work for all of us and that take account of our different life circumstances for example those of us who identify ourselves as young carers or disabled.
- We can expect organisations to respect, encourage and facilitate our involvement. They should work with us to decide how this happens. They should also link us to other organisations in the community to work with us. If we cannot be involved, we need to be told why.
- We need good standards of training and support to become confident at expressing our own ideas and needs, and to be able to find out what issues are important to other young people in Hackney.
- When we get involved in projects and services, adults need to invest time in developing trusting relationships with us by treating us with maturity and respect. They should communicate clearly from the beginning about what is expected of us, what we will get out of our involvement, and what we can realistically expect to achieve.
- Our involvement should not be limited to the planning stage. We should be involved as much as possible including by having a say over budgets, and by being supported to participate in the inspection of services and projects to make sure that they meet the needs of the diverse group of young people in Hackney.
- Every year services and projects should report to young people how they are involving children and young people as active participants.
- Most young people get actively involved because they want to make Hackney a better place. For those of us who don’t actively participate, services should continue to make every effort to seek our views and encourage our participation in ways that reach us too.