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Are children’s rights being upheld in England?

This challenging question is being put to our government by the Children’s Rights Alliance England (CRAE) and a Five Rivers fostered child, Emily, age 11, is now part of their new campaign.

Emily applied to join the CRAE through a Five Rivers participation scheme. Following a Skype interview, Emily was accepted onto the See It Say it Change it steering group of young people aged 7 – 17. She says,

“We are basically looking at different children’s views and looking particularly at homelessness. We are checking if their rights are being met and will do an investigation over 2 years checking out why it’s happening, what the causes are and how we will reduce those numbers. It’s going to last for 2 years and we then we will write a report together and bring to it the government.”

Emily’s main reason for joining the campaign was to help others less fortunate than herself;

“I’ve been from a bad situation and I’ve now moved to a good one and it would be nice for me to be able help other children who might be in difficult situations as I was.”

Emily recently travelled up to Westminster from her home in the South West with her support worker, Emma. She met up with the other young people, some of whom have had a direct experience of homelessness or living in poor, substandard housing conditions. Emily was shocked by what she learned;

‘From the minute I walked in, when I saw about 20 kinds of people from different parts of the UK from all kinds of different backgrounds and I knew I really wanted to be part of this group working together. I didn’t think that children could be homeless in Britain. I was surprised about just how many were homeless and were denied their right to be protected! I felt that we were this big group and we were on a mission to help children and to tell politicians to do something about it.”

Emily is one of several Five Rivers fostered children who are getting involved with the CRAE campaigning though our Participation and Engagement opportunities for young people to promote social change and have a voice in decisions relating to their own care.

For more information, to donate, or be involved in the CRAE campaign to uphold the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, visit:,-say-it,-change-it/

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