UNICEF Asks Whether The World Is A Better Place For Children

November 20th is the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and in anticipation of the date UNICEF has released an essay which asks the very important question “Is the world a better place for children?”

According to the analysis from UNICEF, the answer is an undeniable yes. A baby born in 2014 has a much higher chance of living to see their fifth birthday. Today’s children are much more likely to obtain a primary school education compared to 1989 and the number of kids between the ages of 5-17 who are engaged in child labour has fallen by roughly a third since 2000.

Despite the improvement in prospects, millions of children are still deprived of essential services that would radically reduce their vulnerability to under-nutrition and disease and give them access to sanitation and improved water whilst allowing them to obtain a better education. A large number of children live in extreme poverty and there is a wide gap between the lowest income and highest income households that persists. Children in the former group have dramatically higher rates of stunted growth and child mortality compared to their richer counterparts.

“The trend data shows that globally a child born today is far more likely to survive and thrive than they were 25 years ago. But they also show that in every country and region in the world, many children are being left behind. To fulfil the promise of the Convention, we need to challenge ourselves to think and act differently to advance the rights of every child, especially the most marginalised and hardest to reach.” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt

Both the essays and data suggest that the challenges children face today are also quite different.

Whilst the number of armed conflicts globally has fallen from its 1991 peak of 52, the character of conflicts themselves have changed. Intra-state conflicts now dominate and these have a much more significant impact on civilians, in particular children. Children are also suffering from the effects of human induced climate changed and the AIDS pandemic which was virtually unheard of back in 1989 has had a heavy toll on children, with millions left behind as orphans or infected by the HIV virus. Information Technology has also been transformative by allowing children to communicate outside of their immediate community, but also leaving them vulnerable to online exploitation and harassment.

More positively, since 1989 the international landscape for children has dramatically improved and this is in large part because of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was the most widely and fastest adopted treaty on human rights in history and its near universal ratification is deeply indicative of unparalleled agreement amongst countries.

“Twenty-five years ago, the Convention inspired all of us to envision and realise a more just world for children. Our collective challenge now is to reach the children who have been left behind. The promise – and the challenge – of the CRC is its universality – it is for every child,” Brandt said.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Comments are closed.