World Children’s Day
Children will be taking over the ATN Bangla news studio to co-host the 7pm evening news today (Sunday) marking the World Children’s Day. Eleven-year-old Anisha Amin will present the news while nine-year-old Rowshan Amin Ruhy will operate a studio camera. This “kids takeover” marks the annual celebration of the 1989 adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read more: Heatwaves to impact almost every child by 2050: UNICEF report Ratified by Bangladesh in 1990, the treaty contains a profound idea: that children are not just objects who belong to their parents and for whom decisions are made, or adults in training. Rather, they are individuals with their own rights. The Convention says that childhood is separate from adulthood, and that it lasts until the child turns 18. It is a special and protected time in which children must be allowed to grow, learn, play, develop and flourish with dignity. The Convention is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, and it remains a pillar for transforming children’s lives. Across the world today, UNICEF partners with children who take over key positions in media and politics as a voice for children who are unschooled, unprotected and uprooted. “I have always been on the other side watching the news but today the whole country will listen to me. I want all children to be heard, not just on World Children’s Day but every day,” said eleven-year-old Anisha Amin. The themes of this year’s World Children’s Day are inclusion and anti-discrimination. In this spirit, UNICEF brought together Rohingya refugee girls and Bangladeshi girls in friendly football matches in Cox’s Bazar. Read more: UNICEF wants investment in world's first child-focused climate risk financing solution The moment of fun was part of UNICEF’s work to inspire friendships between children who share the experience the Rohingya refugee crisis from different perspectives. The theme of inclusion and the power of sports is at the heart of this unmissable World Children's Day video with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors David Beckham, Sergio Ramos, Robert Lewandowski and the Bangladesh national U-15 girls’ football team. Trending on social media in Bangladesh, the video has already been seen over 10 million times. Compelling videos were also launched by UNICEF Youth Advocates Farzana Faruk Jhumu and Raba Khan addressing climate change and mental health. Joining the global #IFeltIncluded campaign, Bangladeshi children sent their messages to the world that every child has the right to be protected from all forms of discrimination, while child journalists wrote stories about children who are challenging stereotypes in their communities. “Children can and should be powerful change-makers in their families, schools and communities. It is their voices, choices and opportunities that we must invest in,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh.
Children and young people in Bangladesh, Colombia, Fiji, Gambia, Indonesia, and elsewhere on Sunday took over newsrooms, newspapers, and broadcast studios to report on issues that matter to them. Child journalist Rupkatha Rahman took over as the editor of the Prothom Alo for one day on the occasion of World Children's Day. Children and young people are raising their voices and demanding urgent action on the issues that matter to them in a series of global and local events to mark World Children’s Day, UNICEF’s global day of action for children, by children. From headlining at the world expo, to meeting with presidents, leading public debates, and reporting from newsrooms, young people are engaging world leaders, businesses, and high-profile stars on issues including climate, equality and kindness. Also read: Teenage girl becomes Panchagarh UNO for an hour “Amid a global pandemic, rising poverty, and social unrest, World Children’s Day is a time to celebrate young people’s unwavering hope and determination to build back better,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships Charlotte Petri Gornitzka. "The road to recovery from COVID-19 must put children and young people at the heart of decision-making. As the leaders of tomorrow, they have the right to shape decisions made today.” This week, UNICEF and Gallup launched the first-ever intergenerational poll on childhood today, showing that young people are 50 per cent more likely than older generations to believe the world is becoming a better place, but are impatient for action on mounting crises such as COVID-19 and climate change. To hear and amplify their calls for a better world, presidents, ministers, and businesses joined children and young people at virtual and in-person events, including: In West and Central Africa, UNICEF kicked off its first annual ’Youth Voices from the Sahel’ public debate, focusing on climate change, and bringing together experts, political stakeholders, high-profile individuals, and more than 100 young people aged 8-25 to debate and deliver a set of recommendations for leaders. Children and young people hosted a meeting with the Presidents of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe at the Kazungula Bridge where the borders of all four countries meet. The bridge was also lit up blue in symbolic support for children. Heads of states, ministers and members of governments met with children in other countries including Denmark, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Oman, Turkey, and Switzerland. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and high-profile supporters used their global platforms to help raise awareness and mobilize support for children’s rights and the issues affecting young people, including: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Millie Bobby Brown called for children not to give up on adults in this year’s World Children’s Day signature video. In a reverse to the norm, Brown points out how children are often given instruction from adults, and now calls for adults to listen to children. UNICEF China Ambassador Wang Yuan (Roy Wang) released a new song to inspire children and young people. UNICEF Norway Ambassador Penelope Lea chaired a conference with children, young people, and government leaders on climate change and sustainability. From promoting child rights to lighting buildings blue, businesses and organizations showed their support to help children reimagine a better future, including FC Barcelona, Johnson & Johnson, the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation, Pandora, Z Zurich Foundation, and the UN Foundation. In the spirit of children and young people’s participation, UNICEF launched its first global TikTok activation designed by young creators with the support from TikTok. Focusing on the positive impact of youth advocacy, the #OlderSelfTalk activation asks young people to have a conversation with their older self on some of the current issues that matter to their generation. Iconic landmarks and buildings around the world turned blue as a symbol of unity, including the Tour Eiffel in France, the The Rashtrapati Bhavan in India, the Dharahara Tower in Nepal, Expo 2020 Dubai in the UAE, the Historic Victoria Falls Bridge in Zimbabwe, the Lahore Fort in Pakistan, Petra in Jordan, a section of the Great Wall in China, Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Bran Draculas Castle in Romania, and other buildings and landmarks, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany and Panama. Expo 2020 Dubai championed child rights with youth-led celebrations and policy-focused events featuring UNICEF Ambassadors and Youth Advocates. Two UNICEF Youth Advocates were appointed during a concert: TIME’s Kid of the Year Gitanjali Rao and member of the Emirati Children's Parliament Saeed bin Omar Almutaiwei. In addition to these appointments, UNICEF Youth Advocates and young National Ambassadors around the world were appointed to help raise children and young people’s voices.
Younger people in Bangladesh are substantially more likely than older people to be aware of climate change, says a new international survey by UNICEF and Gallup released on Thursday ahead of World Children’s Day. Over 90 per cent of the Bangladeshi children and youth who were aware of the issue also agree on the need for their government to act boldly now. The findings come from the poll The Changing Childhood Project, the first of its kind to ask multiple generations for their views on the world and what it is like to be a child today. The poll surveyed more than 21,000 people across two age cohorts (15-24 years old and 40 years old and up) in 21 countries, across all regions and income levels, including Bangladesh. The survey shows that children and young people are nearly 50 per cent more likely than older people to believe that the world is becoming a better place with each generation, and that childhood has improved, with overwhelming majorities believing that healthcare, education, and physical safety are better for today's children than for their parents' generation. Yet, despite their optimism, young people are far from naïve, expressing restlessness for action on climate change, skepticism about information they consume on social media, and struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety. Read: Nearly 240 mn children with disabilities around world: UNICEF They are far more likely than older people to see themselves as global citizens, and more likely to embrace international cooperation to tackle threats like the COVID-19 pandemic. “There is no shortage of reasons for pessimism in the world today: Climate change, the pandemic, poverty and inequality, rising distrust, and growing nationalism. But here is a reason for optimism: Children and young people refuse to see the world through the bleak lens of adults,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Compared to older generations, the world’s young people remain hopeful, much more globally minded, and determined to make the world a better place. Today’s young people have concerns for the future but see themselves as part of the solution.” “The voices of Bangladeshi young people on climate action are loud and clear. Young people in Bangladesh are aware of the consequences of climate change, and are more adamant than ever that more needs to be done,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh. “Their views on the world might differ on some aspects from their peers’ in other countries, but their vision is the same: the need to act now for a better future.”