18 February 2021

Five opportunities for children we must seize now

COVID-19 is the first truly global crisis we have seen in our lifetime. No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person – children most of all. Millions are missing out on basic health services, education and protection simply because they were born into poverty or because of their ethnicity, religion or race. COVID-19 has widened this…, For vaccines to work, we must build trust,   History and science tell us vaccines are the best hope we have of ending this virus and rebuilding our lives and our livelihoods. Yet, as Ridhi reminds us, there is a real risk the  What you need to know about a COVID-19 vaccine COVID-19 vaccines  will not reach all who need it. Vaccine hesitancy will have a profound effect on our ability to…, Bridging the digital divide can help bring quality education for all,   Kamogelo is right. During the peak of school closures in early 2020, about 30 per cent of the world’s schoolchildren were unable to access remote learning. In fact, only just over half of households in a majority of countries around the world have access to the internet. These are the same children who are already unlikely to have access to…, COVID-19 has unlocked attention on global youth mental health,   Tulika is right: mental health is a big deal – just as important as physical health. This is especially true in childhood and adolescence, when we lay the foundations for our lifelong cognitive and learning ability, our emotional intelligence and our resilience in the face of stress. Again, the pandemic has highlighted just how vulnerable…, COVID-19 does not discriminate, but our societies do,   The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone on the planet, but it is not affecting us all equally. In too many countries, your ethnicity, your colour or your wealth, may make you more likely to suffer the consequences. For  example , in the United States, African Americans represent 13 per cent of the population but roughly one fourth of…, Climate change is the other planetary crisis that won’t wait,   COVID-19 has taught us that planetary problems require planetary solutions. No one suffers more from a change in climate than a child. Children are vulnerable to the changes in the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat. We know children are more vulnerable to life-threatening water and food scarcity and waterborne diseases…, A final word..., In  a public letter I wrote in  2019, I laid out my worries and hopes for the future of children and young people. Little did I know that a year on, a global pandemic would demonstrate, in dramatic fashion, how well-founded these worries would be. The bad news: As the crisis continues and the economic fallout deepens, we still have difficult days…