Last week’s UN summit in New York was truly an historical moment for all global citizens, especially for those living in developing countries, and in particular, for children, who have finally had their human rights explicitly referenced in the new #GlobalGoals. The goals represent a blueprint for the next 15 years of development work, and a roadmap toward an eradication of inequalities across a range of prioritised areas. With world leaders assembled and the eyes of the world on New York, it was an opportunity for ChildFund, through our International Alliance of sister organisations, to highlight the significance of our work in campaigning (successfully) for global recognition of children’s rights. It was a moment to reflect on what we have achieved, and where we want to take the fight for children’s rights over the next 15 years.
On September 23rd, at Scandinavia House in New York, a major side-event was held, called “Celebrating Children’s Voices for the #GlobalGoals”. The event was co-hosted by ChildFund Alliance and by the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN. The event witnessed the launch of ChildFund’s “Show of Hands” exhibition and our impressive, interactive Data Visualisation Site. The site is a resource to allow us to understand how children think about their world and their human rights. The more we understand what children need, the more we can help them to achieve their goals and ultimately, to protect their rights as global citizens.
In the past three years, ChildFund Alliance has engaged with over 16,000 children across 50 countries, capturing their aspirations and thoughts about the new global goals. World leaders listened and agreed on a vision of a world which “…invests in its children and in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation.” This side-event was a celebration of this major breakthrough for millions of children, as well as their role as agents of change in sustainable development.
On September 27th ChildFund Alliance and a select group of leading child-focused NGOs co-hosted a UN side-event under the theme Building a world that is safer for children. Panellists included ChildFund Alliance Secretary General Meg Gardinier, Special Representative to the UN Secretary General on Violence Against Children Ms Martha Santos Pais, H.E. Dr Yohana Yambise, Indonesian Minister of Women’s Empowerment & Child Protection, and Mr. Mitchell Toomey, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC). Mr Toomey, referencing ChildFund’s new website, spoke about the importance of the data revolution, and to the fundamental role that data have played and will continue to play in achieving sustainable development. Recognising the innovation of ChildFund’s new site, he noted; “We’re actually using it as a model for some of the things we’ll do moving forward with MY World survey.”
The well attended events in New York were a huge success. Along with the launch of the new interactive site, the energy and focus of the side events have helped to create a solid platform for promotion of children’s rights, as we look to take on the challenge of Global Goals, and bring them to fruition over the next 15 years .