Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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Why Fair Matters

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20.11.2015 - Children are a particularly vulnerable group: millions of children are malnourished or die every year of easily preventable causes, they are too often denied education, adequate health care or justice systems. Hundreds of millions of children are engaged in some form of labour, and armed conflicts continue to impact the lives of millions of them.

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Recent surveys show much progress in the situation of children around the globe: school enrolment is rising and infant mortality is falling. However, many children still have no access to education and are victims of various forms of physical or mental abuse.

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Universal Children’s Day is celebrated worldwide on the 20th of November. This date is highly symbolic since it marks the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959 and 1989) by the UN General Assembly.

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UNICEF confirmed in September that at least 4.5 million children have been uprooted by conflict and instability in five countries alone (Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Syria).

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More than half a million people have crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe since the beginning of 2015, with children making up one-fifth of this migrating population.

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“It is shocking to think that one in nine children lives in a country affected by armed conflict, witnessing horrific violence and having their rights to survival, health and education destroyed,” said British actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom. “I travelled with UNICEF to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia to see the how war is driving children and their families from their homes. The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Every country that can should be supporting the children and the families who have been affected."

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"The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard" – Ban Ki-moon

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UNICEF Ambassadors Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson, Sir Roger Moore, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Priyanka Chopra, Novak Djokovic, Mia Farrow, Ishmael Beah, Susan Sarandon and Angelique Kidjo join forces to fight today’s unfair world for children.

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The report, For every child, a fair chance: The promise of equity, presents a statistical picture of how the world’s most marginalized children have fared against basic human development indicators. It points out that:

  • Children from the poorest households are nearly twice as likely as those from the richest households to die before age five, and five times more likely to be out of school.
  • Girls from the poorest families are four times more likely as those from the richest families to be married before 18.
  • More than 2.4 billion people still do not have adequate toilets – 40 per cent of them in South Asia; and more than 660 million still lack access to safe drinking water – nearly half of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Roughly half of the 159 million children suffering from stunting live in South Asia and one-third in Africa.

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For every child, a fair chance makes the case for closing persistent gaps in equity, arguing that investing in children, particularly the most vulnerable, is right in principle and right in practice – and that such investment brings multiple benefits not only to children but also to their families, communities and economies.

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Helping children and ensuring that their rights are fully met is crucial: it is an investment in the future of humanity.

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