KABUL, Afghanistan, 20 November 2018 – UNICEF today commemorates World Children’s Day, which marks the 29th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Afghanistan ratified this human right document in 1994.
It is a day when we can jointly celebrate all achievements attained for children in Afghanistan, including improved health care, increased girls’ school attendance, and decreased child marriage. Yet, it is also a stark reminder of all the challenges that children in Afghanistan continue to face, including violence, abuse, exploitation, and poverty.
Around the world, children will ‘take over’ key roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to give children their own platform to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfil their potential.
In Afghanistan, several media organisations are giving children the opportunity to take over segments of their programming. Participating TV and radio stations include RTA, TV24, Shamshad, Tolo, Pajhwak and Radio Free Europe.
“It’s a fun day with a serious agenda,” said UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, Adele Khodr. “Here in Afghanistan it is very important to give children a voice because they are a very big part of this country’s young society. However, girls and boys in Afghanistan are largely invisible as citizens and we need to give them the chance to speak up. Today is a day for children to ‘take over’, express their hopes, highlight their challenges and hold us as adults accountable, for the promises and commitment we have made to them. We must listen, discuss and take action.”
Child-led activities will take place in various areas of the country to discuss issues affecting Afghan children so that they can share their views and ideas with government, community leaders, development partners, teachers and families. Senior members of Government and the international community have lent their voice to support the realization of child rights in Afghanistan and we are grateful to them!
Despite global progress, 1 in 12 children worldwide live in countries where their prospects today are worse than those of their parents, according to a UNICEF analysis conducted for World Children’s Day. According to the analysis, 180 million children live in 37 countries where they are more likely to live in extreme poverty, be out of school, or be killed by violent death than children living in those countries were 20 years ago.
Similarly, in Afghnistan, despite our best efforts and the significant progress made across all sectors, millions of children are still affected by conflict, missing school, lack access to quality health care, proper sanitation or safe water and many more are victims of decades of conflict.
In Afghanistan, an ‘Activate’ talk will be carried out by children and for children, to mark this important event.
“World Children’s Day is about listening to us and giving us a say in our future. And our message is clear: We need to speak up for ourselves, and when we do, the world needs to listen,” said Hinna Asifi Wardak, 17-year-old activist and UNICEF child advocate.
About World Children’s Day
More information on World Children’s Day, please visit and follow;
UNICEF Global platform: https://www.unicef.org/world-childrens-day/
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Afghanistan, visit www.unicef.org/afghanistan.