A fair chance for every child

Katy Perry bonds with children in Viet Nam

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry spent four days in Viet Nam with UNICEF, meeting children and families affected by poverty, and getting an insight into what is being done to tackle the inequities that some of the country’s most disadvantaged children face.

Still from a video about a social experiment in Georgia

A fair chance

Every child has the right to a fair chance in life. But around the world, millions are being left behind – disadvantaged, endangered and deprived of everything they need to thrive. It doesn’t need to be this way. Investing in the poorest children not only improves their lives, but also their children’s lives – breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.

The #FightUnfair campaign asks you to take actions to spread awareness and hold governments accountable for ensuring a better future for every child.

Jhuma Akhter, 14, does her homework beneath a lamppost outside her home in Khulna, Bangladesh

Meet Jhuma

Fourteen-year-old Jhuma Akhter is back in school and performing at the top of her class in Bangladesh thanks to a cash transfer programme. Getting here hasn’t been easy. When Jhuma was just 8 years old, she left school to work as a servant in an abusive home.

With the help of Nazma, a community volunteer, Jhuma and her family eventually enrolled in a cash transfer programme conditional upon Jhuma’s attendance at school. Now that her mother receives two annual instalments of approximately US$150, Jhuma has returned to school. She is in the seventh grade. Social protection programmes like cash transfers can provide a ladder out of poverty and open up access to services – like education – that are critical to building children’s futures.

Learn more about Jhuma and children like her in our The State of the World’s Children 2016 report.

A girl takes a piano lesson, Serbia

What can you do to #FightUnfair?

There are things we can all do to help. Here are some ideas:

Use your voice. Spread awareness. Join @UNICEF on social media where we tell the stories of children who are being left behind through photos, videos and essays. By starting conversations with family and friends, even online, you can fight the stigma that surrounds poverty. Educate those around you about what causes unfairness around the world and help dispel myths about public health and social services. Change starts when you choose to care.

UNICEF Facebook >
UNICEF Twitter >
UNICEF Instagram >
UNICEF YouTube >

Girl on her way to school, Bangladesh

Use your mind. Educate yourself further on how your leaders should invest in the most excluded children now or risk a more divided and unfair world.

Read the 2016 State of The World’s Children Digital report >

Use your energy. Support local organizations that help vulnerable children and their families: shelters, food kitchens, clothing drives.

Use your skills. Get involved with NGOs or local organizations that run mentorship programs for children and youth from communities in need.

Use your wallet. Buy from companies that treat their workers fairly, paying them a living wage, and invest in sustainability. Support small and local businesses.

Use your influence as a citizen. Find out about how your government leaders are fighting poverty – what are they doing and how much are they investing to break the cycle of poverty for today’s children? 

Child, smiling. Detail from cover of The State of the World's Children 2016 report