Africa, People, Americas, Prosperity, Europe, Asia Pacific

Universal Children’s Day: Leaving a better future for the next generation

Responsible Business | Nov 20, 2018

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“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.”– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Universal Children’s Day is held annually on 20th November. This special day is dedicated to all of the children, so that they may enjoy these carefree years while they last and be ready for the responsibilities that await them. Around the world children have their rights denied every single day. We need to build a world where every child is in school and learning, safe from harm and able to fulfill their potential.

Below you will find 5 basic human rights being denied to children around the world:

1. Ensure access to quality education

Photo credit: Unsplash

If all students in low-income countries gained basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty.

Education frees the intellect, liberates the imagination and is integral for self-respect. It is the key to prosperous future and exposes a world of opportunities, making it possible for each of us to contribute to a dynamic, liberal society. Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development.

2. Put an end to child labour practices

Photo credit: Pexels

Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment. Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.

Child labour strips children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and causes extreme harm to a child’s physical and mental development. In its most extreme forms, it involves children being enslaved, separated from their families, exposed to serious hazards and illnesses and/or left to fend for themselves on the streets of large urban areas. We need to support a holistic child protection approach to child labour through research and data collection, and advocate across all stakeholders to end child labour.

3. Provide affordable & quality healthcare

Photo credit: Pexels

Each year, 2 million children die from preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia because families can’t afford treatment.

These deaths can be avoided through prevention and treatment, education, immunization campaigns, and sexual and reproductive healthcare. Health problems can plunge people into poverty or keep them from escaping it, and those in poverty are more likely to suffer disease because of lack of treatment. The world needs to come together to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines for all.

4. Protect displaced children

Photo credit: Unsplash

Children make up less than one third of the global population, but they were 51 per cent of the world’s refugees in 2015. Today, nearly one-third of children living outside their countries of birth are child refugees; for adults, the proportion is less than 5 per cent.

During flight and in displacement, children become some of the most susceptible members of society. Faced with dissolution of their normal social routine, displaced children can find themselves without basic essentials such as food and shelter and their education can be discontinued. These defenseless children need access to protection and crucial services to keep them safe now, as well as sustainable solutions to ensure their wellbeing over the long term.

5. Allow girls to fulfil their potential

Photo credit: Unsplash

Less than 40% of countries provide girls and boys with equal access to education. Only 39% of countries have equal proportions of boys and girls enrolled in secondary education.

In areas of the world with few restrictions on child labour, families often choose to send their daughters to work instead of school. Millions of educated girls, means more working women with the potential to add up to $12 trillion USD to global growth. The treatment of the girl child will ultimately determine her future as an adult woman. As long as women and girls are excluded from many sectors of society and the economy, developing countries will miss out on opportunities for economic advancement.

On 15 – 16 January 2019, the Responsible Business Forum on Climate Innovation will take place in Hainan, China and will bring together more than 450 leaders from companies, start-ups, investors and international agencies, to share and discuss zero-carbon and circular economy solutions for a sustainable and climate-resilient future. More info here

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