Following Harry’s recent success at banning Mosquito devices in Sheffield, he was invited by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) to take part in work on equality, rights and also to give guidance on how other young people can implement similar anti-mosquito schemes in their area.
The two day meeting took place in Leicester and brought together existing members of CRAE as well as new comer Harry to take part in a project “Measure of Respect”. The project’s aim is to better the treatment of young people by directing youth bodies to recognise equal rights for young people and ways in which a mutual respect between young people and adults can be measured. CRAE introduced to its members the protection offered under the 2010 Equality Act, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. As yet, there are no criteria for discrimination against none-adults. Harry believes this needs to be righted, the Mosquito alarm being a perfect example of discrimination against young people which is somehow legal.
On the second day of the meeting, Harry committed himself to taking part in assisting in the creation of a website, made for young people, to explain their Rights. The group compiled a brief for the site to be given to designers. Further discussion on what is proposed by the designers will be decided upon by CRAE’s members.
Harry also committed himself to providing input into CRAE’s Votes at 16 campaign, one that matches the UK Youth Parliament’s. Harry has long been an advocate of lowering the voting age to 16, as he sees it as unjust for young people to be taxed at 16, without proper representation. Because young people do not have the power of being able to vote, politicians are able to disregard them. Harry asks; “If sixteen year olds had votes that could be lost, would we still see these savage cuts to youth services?”. As well as this, Harry volunteered to be part of an ongoing discussion on the Council of Europe’s debate on participation in politics for young people.
In the final section of the CRAE summit, Harry addressed the other members about his successful Mosquito Ban in Sheffield, and how it could achieved in their own towns and communities. He listed the need to lobby the top Council figures, use media coverage as a pressure on the town hall, and advocated a localist approach, rather than aiming for a national ban. “By setting up your town as an example to others, this regressive device can be reversed. Once Britain’s major cities have all said No to the alarms, a national ban will be a much more achievable goal, as best practise towns and cities lead the way”
Harry intends to continue this active dialogue with CRAE, as he sees it as a great organisation with the potential to right some of the wrongs that currently affect young people in the UK today.