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Global Kids 2010 Annual Youth Conference on Children's Rights  
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Global Kids’ 21st Annual Youth Conference, entitled “Got To Have My Rights” took place on Friday, April 9, 2010. The event, organized and executed entirely by youth in Global Kids programs, brought together over 500 diverse youth from more than 50 high schools across New York City to learn about and take action on children’s rights.

Three outstanding Global Kids Leaders emceed the Conference: Jessy Jo Gomez, from the NYC Museum School in Manhattan; Laura Jones, from Fordham High School for the Arts in the Bronx; and Kwadko Saka, from Canarsie High School in Brooklyn.

Morning and afternoon plenaries at the event featured a host of exciting guest speakers, including Rosario Dawson, actress and activist; Mario Navas, GK Youth Leader; Jacques-Philippe Piverger, Director of PineBridge Investment and Founding Chairman of The Global Syndicate; and Mashal Hamidi, an Adelphi University student and campus leader. Each one spoke about their experiences using multiple strategies to advocate for children’s rights locally and globally, and urged youth participants to do the same. Deputy Mayor of Operations, Edward Skyler, congratulated Global Kids youth on their important work and was inspired to "see them developing as future leaders". Myriad representatives from organizations such as the Children's Aid Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, the United Nations, and many others presented during youth-led workshops at the event.

Conference attendees participated in over 30 workshops developed and facilitated by GK Youth Leaders. Morning workshops, Children’s Rights 101, gave participants a broad overview of the conference theme. Afternoon workshops focused on specific children’s rights issues, including: Access to Education, Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Labor, Child Soldiers, Human Trafficking, Impact of War on Children, Juvenile Justice, Sexual Exploitation of Children, Standard of Living, and others.

At the event, youth also presented a video message and petition urging Congress to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The United States is one of only two members of the United Nations (along with Somalia) who have not signed the UNCRC, an international convention setting out the civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights of children.

The 2010 Annual Youth Conference was graciously hosted by Baruch College, and made possible thanks to support from the Stephen and May Cavin Leeman Foundation, the New York City Departments of Education and Youth and Community Development, and countless other supporters of Global Kids' school-based and leadership programs. 

For 20 years, the Global Kids Youth Conference has provided a forum for the City’s youth to educate each other about the global issues that affect their lives. The entirely youth-led event is the culmination of months of research, planning, and organizing by the students in Global Kids’ after school programs.

To sign the petition urging Congress to ratify the UNCRC, please click here.

To read a press release about the event, please click here.

Please stay tuned for more event photographs.