Children want a say in cabinet formation because they are concerned about the Netherlands

Children want a say in cabinet formation because they are concerned about the Netherlands

National survey among 8 to 14 year olds

On Tuesday, January 9, Children's Postage Stamps, the Disabled Child Foundation and Jantje Beton presented the results of a large national survey among children aged 8 to 14 years. The organizations asked children through a questionnaire what they find important in the Netherlands. And what they think could or should be improved. Ten children personally presented the results of the research to politicians, including Laurens Dassen, leader of Volt and Vicky Maijer, Member of Parliament for the PVV. Feline (13 years old), child ambassador of the Disabled Child Foundation: “Children above all want to be listened to more.”

Three in four children have concerns about the Netherlands

Nearly 600 children participated in the national survey, conducted by market research agency Qrius, specialized in research among children and young people. And ten children had a debate about Dutch politics, which was recorded in a video. Both were presented to politicians and the press in The Hague as a children's coalition agreement . The results are clear and shocking at the same time. 75% of Dutch children are concerned about what is happening in the Netherlands. The most important topics according to children are less war in the world, reducing poverty in the Netherlands and ensuring that people live healthy and happy lives. 90% of children believe that politicians should ensure that no child is excluded or discriminated against. 93% of children think it is important that all children can play outside!

No participation yet at national level

The research shows that more than 90% of all children in the Netherlands believe that politicians should listen more to children. They want to discuss the rights, wishes and concerns of Dutch youth. On November 22, 2023, the Dutch voted for a new House of Representatives that will determine the future of the country. The Netherlands is facing major issues. That is why it is crucial to allow children's voices to be heard in the formation process and the formation of a new coalition agreement. However, there is currently no form of child participation at national level. While in more than 25% of Dutch municipalities, children do have a voice, for example as children's mayor, children's councilor and in children's municipal councils. They raise issues that are of great importance to them. This proves that children are not only the future, but also now contribute to a more just and fairer Netherlands. Hence this research.

Winger (child ambassador) Jantje Beton: “Adults are always so difficult. They can really learn a lot from children. If we can make agreements with each other in an afternoon, then they should be able to do that too." The research has also yielded tips for politicians to work better together. One of the statements: “Put your own ego aside and ensure that the best for The Netherlands is done. They have to serve the Netherlands and not themselves. We talked about this at school.”

High time for change

The initiators of this research, the Disabled Child Foundation, Jantje Beton and Kinderposttempels, believe that it is high time for change. They make an urgent appeal to informant Ronald Plasterk, the representatives of the forming parties BBB, NSC, VVD and PVV and all other politicians to allow the rights of children to play a significant role in the current formation process and the coming government period. Dave Ensberg-Kleijkers, director Jantje Beton: “Children are the future of our country. They are also very concerned about all kinds of social issues such as war, poverty and inclusion. The new coalition agreement should not only be for adults, but also for children. We believe that involving children in this process not only does justice to their position in society, but also contributes to a more inclusive and future-oriented coalition agreement.”

View the Children's Coalition Agreement here

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