Children have a right to have their voices heard, particularly about issues that affect them. A Harris poll conducted online for UNICEF USA found that only one-third of children in the U.S. feel included in the American political process. The poll also found that girls felt especially excluded: 53 percent of girls said they do not feel included in the U.S. political process, compared to 43 percent of boys.

To address these concerns, UNICEF USA’s Policy and Advocacy Team partnered with UNICEF USA Kid Power to ask children around the country what they would like lawmakers to know. Of those responses, we’ve pulled insights from two third-grade classrooms in Illinois. 

From education to climate change to armed conflict, children’s perspectives offer unique insight on the issues impacting them and children around the world. The contributions confirm that kids are paying attention to what is going on across the globe — and that they can be part of the solution. 

“I think we never have war again. All it does is hurt people! Why do we even join wars?” 

“Let homeless people and kids try something that they cannot afford. Like an art class or a game of soccer. Whatever it is, I know it will make their day a 1000% better. It will distract them from knowing hard times and make them know how it feels to be a part of something.”