YOUNGSTERS in Stretford have had their voice heard in Parliament after launching a petition about the rights of refugee children.

Pupils of level one UNICEF Rights Respecting schools; Moss Park Infant School and St Matthews Primary School sent the petition to their MP, Kate Green, to express their concerns that Article 22, 'Refugee children have the right to special protection' isn't being met and that the Government has a duty to do all it can to help.

The schools work hard to empower children and to give them a voice as a Rights Respecting School. During lessons, the children learnt about refugees and found that refugee children did not have their rights met.

Following this the schools held a refugee day where they raised money and gathered clothes to send them to refugee camps.

Kelly Butler, headteacher of Moss Park said: "The children felt strongly about what they had been learning and decided to start a petition to ask government to do more for children's rights and let their voice be heard - over 500 people signed the petition including the pupils and parents and we did a 'hear my voice' march to the old Stretford Hall where they handed over the petition that got sent to Kate Green."

The petition made a debate in the House of Parliament and on November 6 the children were invited to visit London. Along with staff and parents they had a tour of Parliament and had question and answers with Kate Green where they had the opportunity to ask questions about refugees and exactly what was happening to help these families.

On return the children presented their findings to the rest of the school.

Kelly said: "It was a wonderful experience and it empowered our children to have a voice and be heard by politicians. They fully understand that it isn't just about their rights but all children across the world - some of them even want to be politicians now, they know something isn’t right and they want to make a change. "

They are now working hard to achieve their level two as Rights Respecting schools.

MP, Kate Green said: "It was great to have children from St Matthews and Moss Park schools come and visit me in Parliament. They asked me lots of great questions and took a great interest in how parliament works.

"I was also really proud to see the Stretford schoolchildren showing solidarity with refugee children around the world by raising their concerns about Article 22. It was a real pleasure to work with them and I was pleased to be able to raise their concerns in parliament and write to the Prime Minister on their behalf.

"I will continue to put pressure on the government to make sure Ministers are doing all they can to help refugee children have access to the education that they deserve."