Which future will our children see?
Children in All Policies 2030
Catalysing health and well-being for future generations
The future for 2.4 billion children is under unprecedented threat, yet bad outcomes are not inevitable. We can, across the world, make better choices. CAP-2030 works to centre children’s health and well-being in all policies, to ensure an equitable, sustainable future. We implement the recommendations of the WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission by promoting children’s rights and protecting their health through science, advocacy and coalition-building.
Children’s needs, health and well-being are not being prioritised by adults and global leaders. The climate crisis and exploitative commercial marketing threaten children’s health and their futures, everywhere, in all countries. The evidence is clear: successful societies invest in their children – and yet no country is doing enough. But a brighter future is possible, with children at the centre.
A Global Movement
In Argentina, historical fragmentation of policy for children and adolescents has resulted in inequalities in service provision across provinces, with lack of coordination between sectors such as health, education, housing and water & sanitation. FLACSO, the Latin American School of Social Sciences, is leading an initiative to develop cross-sector approaches to promote children’s rights to health and well-being and build a more child-inclusive society. They will map the critical issues, bring together the relevant people to exchange knowledge, and advocate to centre the rights of the child in today’s political agenda.
France ranks among the top countries in the world for ensuring children survive and thrive, although population inequities mean that not all children are equally valued and cared for. Furthermore, France’s excess CO2 emissions put the future of all children at risk by contributing to the climate crisis. CAP-2030 will work with the CRI (Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity) and other partners to interact with children about their ideas, hopes and fears about climate change. They will then develop communications tools to help adults effectively engage with the ‘silent mass’ of non-activist children and sensitively process the stress of climate change with children and adolescents.
Ghana has made significant investments in child health and well-being in recent years, resulting in large decreases in child mortality. However, despite recent momentum towards prioritising children in policy, their needs are not being addressed holistically using an all-of-government approach. CAP-2030 will work with the Center for Learning and Child Development in Ghana, which will hold sector-specific consultations to promote child-friendly strategic planning. They will also organize a multisectoral conference at national level to mobilise stakeholders to place children at the centre of Ghana’s pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In part due to the large number of children living in poverty in India, the country ranks low on the WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission’s Child Flourishing Index. In particular, the number of children living in informal housing poses major challenges in terms of access to social services, social protection, welfare regimes, and other important policy interventions on children’s health and well-being. The Indian Institute for Human Settlements will lead a programme of work on children’s health, housing and social protection, in particular as this concerns children in families supported by informal workers.
In Nepal, children’s health and well-being is inescapably linked to climate change: issues include poor nutritional status, challenges to agricultural production, loss of biodiversity and exposure to climate-induced risks such as droughts, extreme heat, floods, and landslides. The status of children tends to be more critical in remote areas with limited access to market, health, and educational facilities. The climate-related disaster risks for children differ by agro-ecological zone, which vary from south to north across the country. Kathmandu Living Labs and Avni Centre for Sustainability will explore a portfolio of citizen science activities focused on schoolchildren and youth, with the aim of documenting and monitoring climate-change related issues of interest to the children and their communities. These may include health, nutrition, access to education, aspects of the natural and agricultural environment as well as the climate-induced geohazards in remote parts of districts.
Pacific Island countries
Pacific Island countries are among those most affected by the climate crisis, and Indigenous children and youth from these countries are some of the most powerful voices speaking out against climate change in the world today. CAP-2030 will work to amplify the voices and perspectives of Indigenous youth activists on climate change, especially on the issue of environmental justice, as these messages have important implications for all children living today.
Senegal is a country which has in many ways prioritised children’s health in its policies. However, the needs of newborns and very young children are not adequately understood by families, communities, and policymakers. The Institute of Social Paediatrics at Cheikh Anta Diop University, which works to improve the health conditions of mothers and children living in disadvantaged rural and suburban areas of Senegal, will lead an initiative on the ‘first 1,000 days’ of a child’s life. This is a critical period for setting the health and development trajectory for the entire life-course. The work will include advocacy among key policymakers and decisions-makers to devote resources to protect and promote health during the child’s first 1,000 days, as well as sensitising families and communities
In South Africa, the negative effects of alcohol on children occur across the life course, beginning in the womb. The Western Cape province has one of the highest prevalence rates of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders in the world with long term consequences for children’s growth, education and life opportunities. Harmful alcohol use by parents also increases risk of child maltreatment, neglect and household poverty. Partners at the University of Western Cape, South African MRC and Stellenbosch University will seek to capitalise on the observed effects of recent COVID-19 alcohol sales bans. They will explore policy options for long-term, multi-sectoral alcohol policy reform, to improve the health and safety of children and families in South Africa.
Sweden has one of the world’s highest rankings on the Child Flourishing Index according to the WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission report. However, children and adolescents still have issues, The Karolinska Institutet will lead an initiative focusing on children’s mental health and wellbeing, which has been getting worse
CAP-2030 works to build coalitions for action for children in all sectors in key focus countries, with leadership from governments, ministries, academics, civil society and other stakeholders.
Each country has different urgent priorities for children, but everywhere our partners seek to bring together stakeholders across sectors and institutionalize children’s concerns in national planning and policy implementation.
All countries are invited to join the movement! The map above shows where our country partners are taking action. More details on our focus countries coming soon.
Read more about our focus countries in our new Lancet Comment
Children In All Policies 2030
Watch the global launch of Children in All Policies 2030 (CAP-2030) streamed live on April 21st 2021. Leaders, experts and activists joined us from around the world for an energetic conversation about:
The climate emergency and children’s health and well-being
A new WHO-UNICEF-Lancet documentary on threats to children (world premiere!)
watch the documentary film
Messages for Earth Day, the Leaders’ Climate Summit and COP-26
The climate crisis is an existential threat. Children are already suffering in many ways, and their future is in jeopardy. 2021 is a critical year to start the worldwide transformation to a more sustainable and healthier way of life. Governments, civil society and individuals urgently must take action to preserve children’s future. And children must have their say.
Foundations for a better future
A future for the world’s children?
A WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission report provides the foundations of CAP-2030, which seeks to implement the recommendations of the report. Calling for bold politicians, courageous community leaders and international agencies to make radical changes the Commission report highlights the threats to children’s futures and the need to act now. No excuses, and no time to lose.
Read more about CAP-2030’s ambitious plans to implement the recommendations set out in the Commission Report here in our recently published Lancet Comment
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