Young people to join leaders from politics, sport and entertainment for celebration of children’s rights
Ireland’s Taoiseach and top Ministers joined with youth advocates to raise their voices and reimagine post-pandemic world for children in celebration of World Children’s Day 2020.
World Children’s Day is a day of action for children, by children, and this year’s focus is on how they would reimagine a better future.
A team of Irish Youth Changemakers, some of whom are featured here, participated in virtual conversations here at home with An Taoiseach, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the Minister for Education, the Minister for Justice, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, raising issues such as youth mental health, inclusion and an education system that works for all members of society.
#KidsTakeOver winner Ruairí (15) from Drogheda met with Taoiseach Micheál Martin to discuss homophobia, and ways to tackle it.
Watch their encounter below:
On RTÉ 2’s After-school hub there will be a particular focus on children’s rights throughout the week, with kid takeovers and guest appearances by one of our own Ambassadors… aswell as the promise of a No Homework Pass!
Some of UNICEF’s celebrity partners promoted the event.
Meanwhile, children and young people from around the world took part in virtual discussions with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, Millie Bobby Brown and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
“2020 has been challenging, so this World Children’s Day it’s more important than ever for young people to speak out on the issues that affect them,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Millie Bobby Brown. “All around the world, children and young people are coming up with creative solutions to today’s problems, including climate change and remote learning during the pandemic. I’m excited to join other UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors to use our voices to help lift up theirs.”
Raising funds and awareness
World Children’s Day – now in its fourth year – aims to raise awareness and funds for the millions of children that are denied their right to adequate health care, nutrition, education and protection.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hard-won gains to protect and advance children’s rights are being threatened. The number of children living in multidimensional poverty has soared by 15 per cent to approximately 1.2 billion worldwide; at least 24 million children risk dropping out of school, and thousands of children could die every day if the pandemic continues to weaken health systems and disrupt routine services. Restricted movement and school closures have also cut children off from teachers, friends and communities leaving them at increased risk of violence, abuse and exploitation.
“This year has been life-altering for an entire generation of children and young people,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “But we can draw hope and inspiration from all of the progress we are making to respond to COVID-19 and reimagine stronger systems for the future. From distance learning through technology, to building stronger community-based health, nutrition, and water and sanitation systems, to the equitable delivery of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility, we have many reasons to look to 2021 with a renewed sense of optimism. On this World Children’s Day, we call on the global community to help us keep this hope alive by standing with children and young people in their hour of need.”