As Malawi Joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Children’s Day today, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has described the day as an opportunity for the world to reflect on various challenges facing children.
In his message, Unicef country representative Johannes Wedenig said despite progress in some countries including Malawi, globally, children still face a bleak future calling for the world to reassess the situation of the most vulnerable children and recommit efforts to addressing their needs.
“The situation of children in Malawi over the years has improved significantly but there are many children who are being left behind. World Children’s Day is important because it is an opportunity for us to reassess the situation of the most vulnerable children and recommit our efforts to addressing their needs.
Activities on the day provide a platform for children to speak out about their concerns and advocate for children being left behind,” said Wedenig.
According to an analysis by Unicef, while most of the world’s children in the last generation have seen unprecedented gains in living standards, 1 in 12 children worldwide still live in countries where their prospects today are worse than those of their parents.
“While it is the hope of every parent, everywhere, to provide greater opportunities for their children than they themselves enjoyed when they were young, a lot of children today are living in extreme poverty and are out of school compared to children living in the same communities 20 years ago.”
The Unicef survey of children aged 9-18 in 14 countries also shows that children are deeply concerned about global issues affecting them and their peers. They are concerned about violence, poverty, that their voices are not heard at all, that their opinions do not lead to change and they do not trust adults and world leaders to make good decisions for them.
United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.
The Day also marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with global children’s ‘take-overs’, high-profile events and other activities of children in over 130 countries to give them their own platform to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfill their potential.