Richard Taunton Student Campaigns for International Children’s Rights

18th April 2018

As a member of our Student Union, Konstantinos Papachristou works closely students and teachers to improve the student experience. However, it isn’t just young people close to home that he’s interested in helping. In fact, Konstantinos is participating in global child rights campaigns and, at just 16 years old, is working with organisations such as Childs Right Connect, Eurochild and the United Nations!

Member of Eurochild Children’s Council

Recently, Konstantinos was selected as one of 12 young people, from 11 countries, to form the first ever Eurochild Childen’s Council. He’ll be working with the council to bring the voice of young people to the forefront and is closely involved with events, advocacy and strategy planning. Eurochild is a pan-European umbrella organisation working with individuals and organisations in 34 countries across Europe to promote the rights and well-being of children and young people in Europe.

On 20 November, marked as the World Children’s Day, Konstantinos joined his peers from UNICEF for a panel debate at the European Parliament where he put questions to policy makers and members of the parliament on ‘the Europe we want’. In addition to this, he met with members of the parliament to discuss topics such as children’s rights and lowering of the voting age.

Konstantinos certainly has a busy schedule! This month he’ll be attending Eurochild’s General Assembly in Brussels and then it’s off to Croatia for Eurochild’s 2018 conference in October. It’s all the more impressive when you consider that Konstantinos is also involved in the planning, preparation and delivery of the conference. No mean feat for an A Level student!

Child Advisor for Child Rights Connect

His consultation work does not stop there. Konstantinos is also a Child Advisor for Child Rights Connect, which comprises just 19 young people from 19 different countries. Child Rights Connect plays a hugely important role in the development of children’s rights at an international level and it supports the work of  the United Nations treaties on children’s rights.

Konstantinos is currently working on preparations for the ‘Day of General Discussion’ of the United Nations Committee on ‘the Rights of the Child’, which will see him setting off to Geneva this September. The committee will meet to discuss protecting and empowering children as human rights defenders and Konstantinos is tasked with planning consultations with peers to collect views, experiences and recommendations on this topic.

Konstantinos says, “I think it’s incredibly important that young people have a say in issues that affect them. After all, we are the ones who will be voting and becoming decision makers in the future. Young people have a voice and it needs to be heard!”

Alice Wrighton, Principal of Richard Taunton, says, “We are so proud of the passion and drive that Konstantinos is showing in relation to his advocacy work for children’s rights. At just 16 years of age, he has developed the confidence and maturity to work with high profile professionals on an international stage and is successfully representing the views of young people! Konstantinos is a true inspiration to his fellow students. We can’t wait to see how he will use his influence and diplomacy to effect positive change for children’s rights. It goes without saying that he has a great future ahead of him.”