16 February 2024

Report: The State of Children in the European Union

The EU is one of the most equal and prosperous regions in the world. Yet, the rights of far too many children within its borders are under threat or even denied. Too many children in the EU face persistently high rates of poverty and social exclusion, mental health challenges, and environmental dangers such as air pollution. UNICEF's report The State of Children in the European Union summarizes analyses by UNICEF on child well-being and progress for children in the European Union (EU) during the period of the current EU legislature, 2019-2024, and identifies key issues for the next political cycle. The report is accompanied by four policy briefs covering: Policy brief 1: Child poverty Child poverty is not only about the amount of money that families have but also whether children’s basic needs (e.g., food, shelter) are met and whether they have access to essential services (e.g., health, education). Policy brief 2: Mental health Mental health is inherently positive; it is more than the absence of distress. Rather, it entails a state of positive psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Globally, almost one billion people are living with a mental health condition, including more than one in seven adolescents. Policy brief 3: Environment Children’s current and future well-being is fundamentally shaped by the environment in which they grow up. This includes a range of factors in the natural environment including homes, schools and local areas, green spaces, as well as broader issues such as the impacts of climate change. Policy brief 4: Digital technologies The lives of everyone have been transformed by the revolution in digital technologies over the past two decades. Digital technologies bring huge benefits for children and young people, but also present them with risks and challenges.
28 July 2021

Our Voice Our Future: A Call to Action from half a million young people across Africa and Europe

Dear African and European leaders, We, a team of 7 UNICEF U-Report Youth Ambassadors, are writing to you on behalf of half a million young people from across Africa and Europe, who recently took part in the Your Voice Your Future polls (digital survey).  The polls provided an opportunity for young people to share their opinions on key topics and…, Key Recommendations from the Your Voice Your Future Report, 1. Education, skills and jobs, Increase allocation for education budgets for the children and youth in the poorest regions. Increase training and learning opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged communities. Digitalize the education sector; introducing digital learning opportunities and revising school curricula to improve quality., 2. Digital transformation and social infrastructure, Ensure that all young people have access to electricity and internet; improving internet connectivity, infrastructure and the availability of affordable internet - particularly for the most disadvantaged youth. Invest in online safety campaigns, for children and parents, including the prevention of online bullying and harassment. Increase…, 3. Governance, peace and security, Ensure that all children and youth living in conflict zones have access to quality education, including increasing teacher training and access to online learning. Ensure that political leaders and decision makers listen to the voices of young people - and include them in policy and budget allocations, for example by increasing youth political…, 4. Climate change and the green transition, Increase investment in renewable energy, reducing fossil fuel emissions and protecting the health of young people. Ensure that climate change is included in national curricula and practical environmental protection training is available to youth everywhere. Increase environmental job opportunities for young people in both the public and private…