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February 10, 2001 · 


Governments to be Pressured by a Global Movement for Children

A 10-point ‘Rallying Call for the Global Movement for Children’ is to be unveiled by UNICEF and some of its NGO partners at the end of this week’s PrepCom.

The purpose of the Rallying Call is to mobilise a grassroots campaign in support of children worldwide, according to UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam. Talking to NGOs earlier in the week, Mr. Gautam said that the rallying called would be ‘Say Yes To Children.’ ‘We hope it will send a strong message to leaders,’ he said.

The initiative is being backed by UNICEF, Save the Children Fund, Plan International, World Vision, Netaid and BRAC, a leading Bangladeshi NGO. They hope that when the movement gets underway, hundreds of other organisations around the world will join.

‘We want people and organisations all over the world to pick it up and run with it,’ said UNICEF’s Sally Bernheim. ‘If the Special Session is to be successful, we need a groundswell of support to let governments know the world is watching, to make them accountable.’

Ms. Bernheim said that if a global movement is to succeed, people will need to know what it stands for.

‘The Rallying Call provides that,’ she said. ‘The (ten) points are indisputable, easily understandable – (rather like) bumper-stickers.’

The 10 points are:
Leave No Child Out: Because every girl and boy is born free and equal in dignity and rights, all forms of discrimination and exclusion against children must end.
2. Put Children First: Governments must meet their obligations to children and young people. At the same time, everyone – including
individuals, non-governmental organisations, religious groups, the private sector, and children and adolescents themselves – must recognise their responsibility to ensure that child rights are respected.
3. Care for every Child: All children must enjoy the highest attainable standard of health, especially through immunization, good nutrition and diet, clean water and adequate sanitation, proper housing and a safe and healthy environment.
4. Fight HIV/AIDS: Children and adolescents and their families must be protected from the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS.
5. Stop Harming and Exploiting Children: The violence and abuse that children suffer must be stopped now. And the sexual and economic exploitation of children must end.
6. Listen to Children: Everyone must respect the right of children and young people to express themselves and to participate in decisions that affect them, consistent with their evolving capabilities. And we must listen and act.
7. Educate Every Child: All girls and boys must receive a compulsory, free primary education of good quality.
8. Protect Children from War: Children must be protected from the horrors of armed conflict.
9. Protect the Earth for Children: There must be urgent steps by every one of us including governments, civil society and the private sector to assure the well-being and security of future generations by safeguarding the environment at all levels.
10. Fight Poverty: Invest in Children: Because children suffer the most from poverty, the fight against it must begin with them. This includes investing in social services that benefit the poorest children and their families, such as basic health care and primary education. At the same time, the well-being of children must be a priority objective of debt relief programmes, development assistance and government spending.

Source: CRIN information


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