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St Swithun’s pupil visits Geneva for UNICEF UK Youth Advisory Board

Sixth form student and head girl Jamie S undertook the trip of a lifetime last month as she travelled to Geneva as one of the three representatives of the UNICEF UK Youth Advisory Board (YAB)


Jamie was selected by her peers on the board to represent the group, and UNICEF, at the meetings with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. These meetings were a critical part of the UNCRC Periodic Review Process, during which the UK Government is reporting on how children’s rights are respected in the United Kingdom.

She attended the following meetings with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child:

  • Pre-sessional working group meeting
  • Moderated the Children’s meeting with 40 other young people
Jamie moderated the Children’s meeting. Topics discussed included the importance of recognising the individual systematic inequalities apparent in terms of education – for example the disproportionate negative impact of the Covid pandemic on educational opportunities for young people in some communities.

The Committee is a body of 18 independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) by its States’ parties. It also monitors implementation of the Optional Protocols to the Convention, on involvement of children in a number of areas including armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the negative impact of the internet within all of these areas.

Off the back of the meetings, the UN Committee will provide a set of recommendations to the UK Government later this year.

Speaking about the trip, Jamie said, “I am honoured and grateful for the opportunity to represent children’s views across the UK and Jersey. I hope the UN Committee will consider our perspectives and make appropriate recommendations to the UK government.”

St Swithun’s headmistress Jane Gandee added, “Since her arrival at St Swithun’s, Jamie has been notable for her sense of community and for her concern for others. I cannot think of anyone better suited to represent the UNICEF UK Youth Advisory Board. I’m sure she was thoughtful and clear-thinking in her contributions.”