Matt K. Johnson on What Celebrating World Children’s Day in 2020 Means

These girls live in western Haiti, where only about 20 percent of the population is employed while the other 80 percent live on less than U.S. a day. | (Credit: Compassion International)

In a year like 2020, everything feels different. And the yearly celebration of World Children’s Day is no exception.

Established by a United Nations resolution in 1954, World Children’s Day, observed each year on November 20, has been recognized as an opportunity to advocate for children’s rights.

November 20 also marks the day the UN adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. In the treaty, the group set out a number of specific children’s rights, including the right to life, health, education, play and freedom from abuse, discrimination and exploitation.

Due to COVID-19 and its multifaceted effects, these rights are under significant threat for children in poverty.

In order to understand how to advocate for these children, we must first understand the challenges facing them. To name a few recent examples:

  • Hunger related to COVID-19 has already led to the deaths of 10,000 more children per month, according to UN estimates from earlier this year.
  • In the past few months alone, areas such as Southeast Asia and Central America have been ravaged by deadly storms, some of which have displaced hundreds of thousands of people at a time. Whether it’s a hurricane in Nicaragua, locusts in Ethiopia or political disruption in Bolivia, many in poverty find themselves fighting more than a global pandemic.
  • Already behind their global peers, children in poverty are losing educational ground. Kids from rural areas with little to no access to the internet have a tough time attending online classes and are more prone to dropping out. And that only applies to schools that are open. As of last week, more than one-third of all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean still have yet to set a date for school to reopen.
  • On the heels of promising headlines that a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon, fewer than 800 million doses of the vaccine have been reserved for children and adults in the world’s poorest countries.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Matt K. Johnson