Voices of Youth is a global organization that advocates for children’s right to participate in the media, and evaluates what young people are doing to exercise that right. It has been around since 1995. It started as a way for more than 3,000 young people from 81 countries to send messages to world leaders at the World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen in the spring of 1995. It was also developed as part of the celebrations for UNICEF’s 50th Anniversary (UNICEF was started on 11 December 1946).
In 1997, the Voices of Youth Discussion Boards were developed to enable young people to talk to one another over the internet in English, French and Spanish about child rights and development issues. In 2002, following consultation with youth from more than 100 countries, VOY was restructured into three separate areas: