UNICEF, ILO, UNHCR launch “#DiverseButUnited” Social Inclusion Campaign
CAIRO, 07 December 2022 – Today, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Labour Organization (ILO), and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched an awareness raising social inclusion campaign, #DiverseButUnited, #IFeltIncluded.
The campaign’s goal is to raise public awareness and support for the rights and inclusion of children in Egypt, regardless of their gender, religion, income level, disability and race or ethnicity. The campaign also underlines the importance of a safe and inclusive environment in refugee children’s everyday lives in their host communities.
The campaign is funded by the generous contributions from the PROSPECTS programme – a partnership between the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), ILO, UNHCR, and UNICEF.
On this occasion, Actress and Singer Donia Samir Ghanem, UNICEF Ambassador, presented a special song dedicated for all children living in Egypt, titled “Lenna Haq”.
Donia Samir Ghanem, UNICEF Ambassador said “I’m delighted to be with you today because what brings us together is a very important cause for every child. Ending discrimination against children is a collective responsibility—everywhere in our world, in our schools, in our homes and in our hearts. It is nice that we learn from our children. Yes, we are diverse, but it is also important to be united.”
Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt said, “I would like to thank all who contributed to the advocacy campaign we are launching today, particularly our development partner, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and our Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Donia Samir Ghanem. Sadly, millions of children around the world and in Egypt continue to face discrimination and exclusion. Building a world where every child is seen, counted, and included is at the core of UNICEF mandate and the reason why this campaign exists.”
Ambassador Moushira Khattab shed the light on the important role of raising awareness on the rights of all children, noting that children should live in a safe world with no discrimination, which enables them to enjoy their rights in education, health,and protection to reach their full potential. Ambassador Khattab emphasized the important role of cooperation between government and international development partners in realizing this ambition.
“I am proud to contribute to this advocacy campaign through our PROSPECTS partnership, with UNICEF, UNHCR, ILO and IFC and hope it will reach a large audience to advocate for the inclusion and acceptance of all children without discrimination”, said H.E. Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Egypt
UNHCR Representative to the Government of Egypt and the League of Arab States, Mr. Pablo Mateu said, “over half of the world’s refugees are children and in Egypt almost 40 per cent of registered refugees are under the age of 18. Including young refugees, especially children, in government social protection schemes and programs is the most effective way of helping them to rebuild their lives and secure their futures.” Mr. Mateu added, “as part of our collective efforts, around 86% of refugee children now have access to public schools in Egypt, which is important progress. But challenges remain and these can only be overcome through enhanced coordination and collaboration between UN agencies, government entities and non-governmental organizations.”
Mr. Eric Oechslin, Director of the Technical Team of the North African Decent Work and the ILO Country Office of Egypt and Eritrea stated that “the ILO's tripartite structure is uniquely suited to work together with governments and regional organizations in harnessing the potential of labour migration and mobility to promote labour market integration and wider social integration of refugees and asylum seekers in a sustainable manner. The ILO treasures the PROSPECTS programme partnership under the leadership of the government of the Netherlands, a partnership that is improving the socio-economic prospects for refugees, asylum seekers and Egyptians.”
Mohamed Sheiha, Head of Marketing, Digital & Communications – Warner Brothers Discovery MENAT, said: “Bullying is a widespread global concern. The CN Buddy Network campaign in the Middle East intends to raise awareness by promoting friendship and kindness. It is hugely important for us to address this issue in a way that is positive, supportive, and relevant. We are privileged to have the support of incredible talents such as Donia Samir Ghanem, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador star. We would also like to thank our partners in this initiative, UNICEF MENA for their invaluable contribution to the wellbeing of children in our region.”
Recently, more than 407,000 young people from 192 countries participated in a UNICEF supported poll on discrimination. Almost two thirds said that discrimination is common in their schools or communities. Nearly half reported feeling that discrimination has impacted their lives or the lives of someone they know.
#DiverseButUnited, #IFeltIncluded campaign is supported by the generous contributions under the Prospects programme – a partnership between the Netherlands, IFC, ILO, UNHCR and UNICEF. So far, the programme has resulted in enrolling 140,000 children and young people in education programmes, as it has also reached over 200,000 people with various protection and inclusion services, including case management and psych-social support.
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, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/