Dublin, Ireland, November 20th, 2015
The sixth-annual Small Voices, Big Dreams Survey, commissioned by ChildFund Alliance, is one of the most comprehensive polls of children’s views. This year, nearly 6,000 10- to 12-year-olds in 44 countries across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific, were asked for their views on issues affecting their demographic.
When Irish Children were asked where they felt most at risk from harm, 85% of Irish children felt that they were most at risk of being emotionally abused or mistreated on line through social media.
65% of Irish children interviewed stated that they felt most at risk from being harmed physically or emotionally at school (significantly higher than the global level) while 20% of Irish children interviewed felt at risk of harm at home. This result corresponded starkly with that of a developing country such as Togo with 94% of children said “At home’ and in Ghana 91%.
48% of Irish children interpreted mistreatment by adults as punishment for something wrong they had done and 42% of Irish children also felt adults mistreated them because they had the power.
46% of Irish children felt the one thing that adults could do to help them feel safer was to listen to them more.
Interestingly, more than ¼ of the world’s children feel their parents don’t love them enough to keep them safe.
Only 22% of Irish children felt they were mistreated because it was ‘their fault’ another positive drive that we are building our children’s self-esteem but not as much as Denmark where only 2% of children felt they were mistreated because it was their fault. Worryingly 63% of children in Ghana felt they were mistreated because it was their fault.
What was concerning was that 25% of Irish Children who answered this question felt they were mistreated because the adults were drunk/on drugs whereas 70% of children in Australia selected this option , however only 15 of the 44 countries who participated in the survey ranked this an issue for them.
The children were also asked if they were the leader of the country what you would do to make child feel safer and free from mistreatment and harm. The top answer globally was to punish the abuser / send them to prison – 24%, developed 22% and developing 24%.
Many Irish children stated that if they were the leader of the country they would give more to the poor, particularly the homeless and those without proper food and access to clean water.
Irish children appeared well aware of the inequality in the world between their lives and those in developing countries.
An overriding response to the question what would you do to keep children safe was to control bullying behaviour both in and outside school.
To download and view the full report, SMALL VOICES BIG DREAMS SURVEY 2015
or visit SmallVoicesBigDreams.org.