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Prospects for Children in 2024: Cooperation in a Fragmented World
A tale of two futures, As we enter 2024, the world stands at a pivotal juncture. We can choose a path marked by increased global collaboration – a path that embraces innovation, knowledge sharing, policy transfer, and equitable growth. Or, there's a different course that could be taken, one which might entail less unity and a more protectionist approach, potentially…, 1. Geopolitical shifts and the risk of conflict may threaten children’s survival and well-being – but avenues for accountability and cooperation hold promise., In 2024, major powers will continue competing to expand their military, political, economic, and technological influence globally, including within multilateral institutions. Meanwhile, small and middle powers, including many in the Global South, are distancing themselves from confrontation between the major powers by forging new, flexible…, 2. Economic fragmentation threatens families’ livelihoods, children’s development and youth employment – but economic solidarity, market collaboration and investing in future skills can safeguard children’s rights and futures., Economic fragmentation, often driven by geopolitical interests and strategic considerations, is projected to widen disparities between nations in 2024. This unravelling of global economic integration threatens to undermine years of prosperity, progress, and innovation. It also adds fiscal pressure at a time when child poverty is rising in many…, 3. A fragmented multilateral system is not delivering on key issues for children – but it has a chance to reset its course in 2024 through global governance and financing reforms., The year 2024 will be pivotal for addressing a fragmented multilateral system that is failing on issues such as peace, security, climate change, financing for developing countries and the enforcement of normative standards – all of which can have an impact on children and their rights. Many countries, especially those in the Global South, believe…, 4. Developing economies still face structural inequities in the international financial architecture, limiting their ability to invest in children – but reforms to lending approaches and new technologies offer hope., Structural inequities in international financing will continue to limit developing countries’ investments in children in 2024. Excessive debt burdens, high remittance costs, overreliance on unpredictable economic monetary policies, and lack of voice in financial governance penalize poorer states. Debt crises triggered by these factors hurt…, 5. Global democracy will face unprecedented risks presented by disinformation and higher levels of political violence – but positive forces, including those led by children and youth, may still reverse the democratic decline., Democratic backsliding and youth dissatisfaction with democracy have been unfolding for years. But in 2024, as many nations face critical elections, two concerning trends emerge. First, advances in the digital technology for large language models and generative AI have introduced dangerous new disinformation capabilities that can create convincing…, 6. Fast-tracking transition to green energy is reshaping critical mineral and labour markets – if managed responsibly, cooperatively and justly, it can benefit children., In 2024, the accelerated transition to green energy will continue. This transition will be driven by volatility in energy markets, growth in the deployment of clean energy technology and policy imperatives like the development of new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). A faster shift to green energy brings significant benefits to children…, 7. El Niño, mosquito-borne diseases and water scarcity threaten children’s health and well-being – but greater collaboration, holistic programming and technological innovation can mitigate the negative impacts and protect children., Throughout 2024, climate change will continue to pose many threats to children’s health and nutrition. Three key forces stand out: the continuation of El Niño; the rise in outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases due to climate change; and water scarcity. The 2024 El Niño could be even hotter and more dangerous to people and the planet than in 2023.…, 8. Potential impacts of unchecked technologies spark fear and concern for children’s well-being – but proactive policy and global digital cooperation can place children at the centre of responsible design and regulation., The digital environment continues to shape children’s lives. Advances such as artificial intelligence (AI) bring new opportunities for children's learning, health care and development. Because new technology also poses risks for children, striking a regulatory balance will be a 2024 priority for three main reasons: First, apprehension about the…
How to communicate effectively with your young child
Every interaction you have with your child is a form of communication. It's not just about the words you say: The tone of your voice, the look in your eyes and the hugs and kisses you give – all convey messages to your child. The way you communicate with your child not only teaches them how to communicate with others, it shapes their emotional…, What are the types of communication?, Communication can take two forms: verbal and nonverbal. Verbal communication is the way we communicate with words and includes: Pitch and tone of voice The words you say Dialect, or using words your child can best understand. Nonverbal communication is both intentional and unintentional communication through body language. It includes things like…
What you need to know about parent-child attachment
Children thrive when they feel safe, loved and nurtured. For many parents, forming a close bond with their child comes easily. For many others who did not feel cherished, protected or valued during their own childhood, it can be much more of a struggle. The good news is that parenting skills can be learned. Read on to learn why bonding with your…, Why building a relationship with your child matters, Providing your child with love and affection is a pre-requisite for the healthy development of their brain, their self-confidence, capacity to thrive and even their ability to form relationships as they go through life. You literally cannot give babies ‘too much’ love. There is no such thing as spoiling them by holding them too much or giving them…, How to bond with your child, Parenting can be difficult at times and there is no such thing as a perfect parent. But if you can provide a loving and nurturing environment for your child to grow up in and you’re a steady and reliable presence in their life, then you’ll be helping them to have a great start in life. Here are some ways that can help you build a strong connection…
Cyberbullying: What is it and how to stop it
We brought together UNICEF specialists, international cyberbullying and child protection experts, and teamed up with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter to answer some of the most common questions about online bullying and give advice on ways to deal with it. , What is cyberbullying?, Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Examples include: spreading lies about or posting embarrassing photos or videos of someone on social…, The top questions on cyberbullying, Am I being bullied online? How do you tell the difference between a joke and bullying? What are the effects of cyberbullying? How can cyberbullying affect my mental health? Who should I talk to if someone is bullying me online? Why is reporting important? I’m experiencing cyberbullying, but I’m afraid to talk to my parents about it. How can I…, 1. Am I being bullied online? How do you tell the difference between a joke and bullying?, UNICEF: All friends joke around with each other, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if someone is just having fun or trying to hurt you, especially online. Sometimes they’ll laugh it off with a “just kidding,” or “don’t take it so seriously.” But if you feel hurt or think others are laughing at you instead of with you, then the joke has gone too…, 2. What are the effects of cyberbullying?, UNICEF: When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect a person in many ways: Mentally – feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even afraid or angry Emotionally – feeling ashamed or losing interest in the…, 3. How can cyberbullying affect my mental health?, UNICEF: When you experience cyberbullying you might start to feel ashamed, nervous, anxious and insecure about what people say or think about you. This can lead to withdrawing from friends and family, negative thoughts and self-talk, feeling guilty about things you did or did not do, or feeling that you are being judged negatively. Feeling lonely…, TikTok, Cyberbullying has the potential of having a negative impact on people's mental health. It's why it's so important that you reach out to someone you trust – whether it's a parent, teacher, friend or caregiver – and let them know what you're going through so that they can help you. The well-being of our community matters hugely to us, and we…, 4. Who should I talk to if someone is bullying me online? Why is reporting important?, UNICEF: , If you think you’re being bullied, the first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as your parents, a close family member or another trusted adult. In your school you can reach out to a counsellor, the sports coach or your favourite teacher – either online or in person. And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know, search…, Facebook/Instagram, There is no place for bullying and harassment of any kind on Facebook or Instagram. It is against our policies to create an account, post photos, or make comments for the purpose of bullying or harassing someone else. If you are experiencing bullying online, we encourage you to talk to a parent, teacher or someone else you can trust – you have a…, TikTok, Everyone has the right to feel safe and to be treated with respect and dignity. Bullying and harassment are incompatible with the inclusive environment we aim to foster on TikTok. If you ever feel someone is bullying you or otherwise being inappropriate, reach out to someone you trust - for example, a parent, a teacher or a caregiver – who can…, Twitter, Being the target of bullying online is not easy to deal with. If you are being cyberbullied, the most important thing to do is to ensure you are safe. It’s essential to have someone to talk to about what you are going through. This may be a teacher, another trusted adult, or a parent. Talk to your parents and friends about what to do if you or a…, 5. I’m experiencing cyberbullying, but I’m afraid to talk to my parents about it. How can I approach them?, UNICEF: If you are experiencing cyberbullying, speaking to a trusted adult – someone you feel safe talking to – is one of the most important first steps you can take. Talking to parents isn’t easy for everyone. But there are things you can do to help the conversation. Choose a time to talk when you know you have their full attention. Explain how…, 6. How can I help my friends report a case of cyberbullying especially if they don’t want to do it?, UNICEF: Anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying. If you see this happening to someone you know, try to offer support. It is important to listen to your friend. Why don’t they want to report being cyberbullied? How are they feeling? Let them know that they don’t have to formally report anything, but it’s crucial to talk to someone who might be…, Facebook/Instagram, We know that it can be hard to report bullying, but everyone deserves to feel safe online. If your friend is experiencing cyberbullying, encourage them to talk to a parent, a teacher or an adult they trust. Reporting content or accounts to Facebook or Instagram is anonymous and can help us better keep our platforms safe. Bullying and harassment…, TikTok, If you believe another member of the TikTok community is being bullied or harassed, there are ways you can provide support. For example, you can make a confidential report on TikTok so that we take appropriate action and help keep your friend safe. If you know the person, consider checking in with them and encourage them to read our Bullying…, Twitter, If your friends are experiencing cyberbullying, encourage them to talk to a parent, a teacher or an adult they trust. If a friend of yours does not want to report their experience, you can submit a bystander report on their behalf. This can include reports of private information , non -consensual nudity or impersonation. Last updated: January…, 7. How do we stop cyberbullying without giving up access to the Internet?, UNICEF: Being online has so many benefits. However, like many things in life, it comes with risks that you need to protect against. If you experience cyberbullying, you may want to delete certain apps or stay offline for a while to give yourself time to recover. But getting off the Internet is not a long-term solution. You did nothing wrong, so…, Facebook/Instagram, We’re continuously developing new technologies to encourage positive interactions and take action on harmful content, and launching new tools to help people have more control over their experience. Here are some examples from Instagram: When someone writes a caption or a comment that our artificial intelligence detects as potentially offensive…, TikTok, Our priority is to foster a welcoming and safe environment where people feel free to express themselves authentically. Our Community Guidelines make clear that we do not tolerate members of our community being shamed, bullied or harassed. We use a combination of technology and moderation teams to help us identify and remove abusive content or…, Twitter, Since hundreds of millions of people share ideas on Twitter every day, it’s no surprise that we don’t all agree with each other all the time. That’s one of the benefits of a public conversation in that we can all learn from respectful disagreements and discussions. But sometimes, after you’ve listened to someone for a while, you may not want to…, 8. How do I prevent my personal information from being used to manipulate or humiliate me on social media?, UNICEF: Think twice before posting or sharing anything on digital platforms – it may be online forever and could be used to harm you later. Don’t give out personal details such as your address, telephone number or the name of your school. Learn about the privacy settings of your favourite social media apps. Here are some actions you can take on…, Facebook/Instagram, On Facebook, we have a set of Community Standards , and on Instagram, we have Community Guidelines . We take action when we are aware of content that violates these policies, like in the case of bullying or harassment, and we are constantly improving our detection tools so we can find this content faster. Making sure people don’t see hateful or…, TikTok, Our Community Guidelines define a set of norms and common code of conduct for TikTok and they provide guidance on what is and is not allowed to make a welcoming space for everyone. We make it clear that we do not tolerate members of our community being shamed, bullied or harassed. We take action against any such content and accounts, including…, Twitter, We strongly enforce our rules to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely. These rules specifically cover a number of areas including topics such as: Violence Child sexual exploitation Abuse/harassment Hateful conduct Suicide or self-harm Sharing of sensitive media, including graphic violence and adult…, 9. Is there a punishment for cyberbullying?, UNICEF: , Most schools take bullying seriously and will take action against it. If you are being cyberbullied by other students, report it to your school. People who are victims of any form of violence, including bullying and cyberbullying, have a right to justice and to have the offender held accountable. Laws against bullying, particularly on…, 10. Technology companies don’t seem to care about online bullying and harassment. Are they being held responsible?, UNICEF: Technology companies are increasingly paying attention to the issue of online bullying. Many of them are introducing ways to address it and better protect their users with new tools, guidance and ways to report online abuse. But it is true that more is needed. Many young people experience cyberbullying every day. Some face extreme…, 11. Are there any online anti-bullying tools for children or young people?, UNICEF: Each social platform offers different tools (see available ones below) that allow you to restrict who can comment on or view your posts or who can connect automatically as a friend, and to report cases of bullying. Many of them involve simple steps to block, mute or report cyberbullying. We encourage you to explore them. Social media…, Facebook/Instagram, We have a number of anti-bullying tools across Facebook and Instagram: You can block people, including any existing and new accounts they might create. You can mute an account and that account will not be notified. You can use ‘ Restrict ’ to discreetly protect your account without that person being notified. You can moderate comments on your…, TikTok, Alongside the work that our safety teams do to help keep bullying and harassment off our platform, we provide an extensive range of tools to help you control your TikTok experience. You can find these in full on our Safety Centre . Here are a few highlights: You can restrict who comments on your videos to no one, just friends or everyone (for…, Twitter, We want everybody to be safe on Twitter. We continue to launch and improve tools for people to feel safer, be in control and manage their digital footprint. Here are some safety tools anyone on Twitter can use: Select who can reply to your Tweets – either everyone, only people you follow or only people you mention Mute – removing an account's…
559 million children currently exposed to high heatwave frequency, rising to all 2.02 billion children globally by 2050
LONDON/NEW YORK/BANGKOK, 25 October, 2022 – 559 million children are currently exposed to high heatwave frequency*, according to new research from UNICEF. Further, 624 million children are exposed to one of three other high heat measures - high heatwave duration, high heatwave severity or extreme high temperatures. During a year in which heatwaves…, Definitions, Heatwaves – any period of 3-days or more when the maximum temperature each day is in the top 10% of the local 15-day average. High heatwave frequency - where there are on average 4.5 or more heatwaves per year. High heatwave duration - where the average heatwave event lasted 4.7 days or longer. High heatwave severity - where the average heatwave…
What to do if you or your child gets sick with COVID-19 at home
Many people who get sick with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and are able to recover at home. For a lot of families living together though, it’s often difficult to avoid spreading the virus to others. Here are some tips on what to do if you or a family member gets sick. People who test positive for COVID-19 and have mild or no symptoms can…, How to care for someone with COVID-19, As you look after your sick family member, remember to take care of yourself too. Limit the number of caregivers. Ideally, assign one person who is in good health and not at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 – i.e. fully vaccinated, below 60 years old and with no chronic health conditions. Help the sick person to follow instructions from…, What to tell children if someone falls sick in the family, Being sick is hard on everyone in the family, including those who aren’t ill. How children respond to the situation depends a lot on their age. Younger children might not understand what is going on and why they suddenly cannot see a parent or sibling. For older children it can cause worry and painful feelings. Some might blame themselves for what…, What to do if you fall ill, If you feel ill or test positive for COVID-19 then stay home. If your condition worsens or you have difficulty breathing, call your healthcare facility immediately. If you are your child’s sole caregiver, then consider who could look after your child if you become too ill to do so. Ideally, the caregiver should be someone who is not at higher…, What to do if your child is ill, If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, then seek medical advice as soon as they start to feel unwell, even if symptoms are mild. If your doctor says it is safe to care for your child at home, try to limit contact to one caregiver as much as possible to protect other family members – especially those at high risk of severe disease – from being…, Stay connected with UNICEF, Don't miss the update from UNICEF Thailand. Subscribe for newsletter from us.
COVID-19 ‘biggest global crisis for children in our 75-year history’ – UNICEF
NEW YORK/BANGKOK, 9 December 2021 – COVID-19 has affected children at an unprecedented scale, making it the worst crisis for children UNICEF has seen in its 75-year history, the United Nations Children’s agency said in a report released today. The report https://www.unicef.org/reports/unicef-75-preventing-a-lost-decade Preventing a lost decade:…
The climate crisis is a child rights crisis
The climate crisis is the defining human and child’s rights challenge of this generation, and is already having a devastating impact on the well-being of children globally. Understanding where and how children are uniquely vulnerable to this crisis is crucial in responding to it. The Children’s Climate Risk Index provides the first comprehensive…
How parents can support their child through COVID-19 losses
Coronavirus is unprecedented in our lifetimes and people around the world are mourning a sense of normalcy and routine. Some may also be grieving the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19. Loss, grief and bereavement are difficult and complicated for anyone, but especially so for children – who may be dealing with this for the first time in their…, What are the differences between loss and grief?, “Loss and grief are powerful psychological experiences that leave adults and children feeling both disrupted and often very sad,” says Dr. Damour. “We might use the term loss to talk about the loss of things that may return – such as the rhythms and routines of life before the pandemic.” Grief, on the other hand, is for something more permanent, “…, How do children feel loss and grief differently from adults?, According to Dr. Damour, a lot will depend on the age of your child. “Very young children may be confused about what happened – both with loss and grief. Children under the age of 5 may not understand why they don’t go to school and why their parents are home. In the case of death, they may not really understand what death is or understand that it…, How can I help my child navigate these emotions?, Be empathetic and be honest with children of all ages, but make sure to be especially clear with young children. “Children under the age of 5, need and deserve very clear, very simple explanations that do not include euphemisms. We can’t tell children that we ‘lost’ someone, because they won’t really understand what we’re trying to say. It’s more…, I lost my own parent and am grieving myself. How can I still be supportive of my child?, “It’s not necessarily bad for children to see adults grieving,” explains Dr. Damour. “When we’re sad about the death of someone we love, we’re having the right reaction at the right time. And it’s important for us to model for children how to weather a difficult feeling, even if it’s a very painful emotion.” If your grief feels too overwhelming,…, What can I expect when my child is grieving the death of a loved one?, According to Dr. Damour, “It’s not at all unusual for children ages 6 – 11 and teenagers to have periods of disbelief or shock about the loss of someone close to them – or even to have moments of forgetting that it occurred, which is a normal and healthy defence that simply gives the mind a break from very painful news. Defences come and go, and…, I’m worried that my child may be depressed. What are some signs to look for?, “Loss and bereavement are both very painful experiences,” explains Dr. Damour. “It’s important to know when a child is handling them appropriately and when it’s time to worry. For children of all ages and adults, it’s time to worry if painful feelings are being managed with negative coping mechanisms such as emotional withdrawal that lasts for…, Missing out on important events is taking a toll on my child. What should I say to him?, “Kids have every right to be upset about how coronavirus has disrupted their normal lives,” says Dr. Damour. Their losses feel bigger for them than they do for us because this disruption is a greater percentage of their time that they remember being alive – and we’re measuring it against our lifetime and experiences. “The way that we adults can be…, My child is having a hard time understanding why we are all staying home right now. How can I explain it to her?, Dr. Damour recommends giving young children a point of reference. “It can be helpful to say: ‘You know how we keep you home from school when you have a cold so you don’t make other people sick? Well this is like that, but it’s a virus that’s more dangerous than a cold. And so we stay home to make sure that we don’t catch the virus, and people with…, Stay connected with UNICEF, Don't miss the update from UNICEF Thailand. Subscribe for newsletter from us.
Feeding your baby: When to start with solid foods
As your baby grows, her nutritional needs grow with her. During the first two years, up to 75 per cent of each meal goes to building your baby’s brain. Here’s when to introduce your baby to solid foods and why getting the timing right is so important., In brief: Feeding your baby solid foods, A graphic depicting breastfeeding. Before 6 months, breastmilk alone meets all your baby’s energy and nutrition needs. A graphic depicting soft food on a plate. Start to introduce soft foods at 6 months when your baby needs more energy and nutrients than your milk alone can provide. A graphic depicting soft food with a spoon. At 6 months, start…
In the first 1,000 days of life (first 3 years), your child’s brain develops faster than at any other time. Even more incredible is that before young children can even talk, you can help with that brain building. How? Through serve and return! With help from our friends at the LEGO Foundation and the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard…, What is serve and return?, Serve and return is a series of back and forth interactions between a child and parent or primary caregiver, where an adult responds lovingly and appropriately to a baby or toddler’s noises and gestures. Think of it as a game of ping-pong: it’s all about the back and forth — and having fun! The most important part is showing your child that you…, How do I practice serve and return with my child?, Building your baby’s brain does not need to be complicated and better yet, it can be built into every day routines and moments. Any moment with your baby can turn into a playful opportunity to learn! Here are some easy ways you can start incorporating serve and return into your everyday interactions with your little one. , The 'name game', A mother is playing with her baby. Add some fun to your morning routine! Dressing your child is a great opportunity to help her make important language connections. As you observe her interest in each article of clothing you put on, give them names. For example, as you hold up her shirt, say “yes, this is your shirt!” You can take it a step…, Food time fun!, A mother is engaging with her son in cooking. Explore your kitchen with your child – it’s full of exciting sights, colours, shapes and smells for your baby to explore. Support and encourage your child’s curiosity by paying close attention to what your child is looking at, interested in and reacting to. For example, if you notice your baby staring…, Bath time play, A mother is bathing her child. Grab some bath toys or a ball and get ready to play! Let your baby pick the toy that grabs her interest first. Play with her back and forth, and when she’s ready to move to the next toy make a point to acknowledge the end of her time with the first toy by saying “all finished!” Toddlers may be readier than infants to…, Point and learn, A father is holding his child in his arm to select a necklace. Whether it’s in the car or around the neighbourhood, there are lots of things to see when walking outside. Pay attention to what your baby seems interested in through his gestures, gaze or sounds and point to it while telling your baby what it is: “Oh do you see the bird? That’s a…, Food swap, A mother is feeding food to her baby. When feeding your baby a snack, take turns in who does the feeding. Feed her one piece and let her pick up the next piece herself. Even if it takes some time, wait for your child to respond. Taking turns helps build her confidence and social skills. This would be a great game for babies 6 months and older. By…
Toys for life
For very young children, play is a serious business and can bring a lifetime of benefits. As Harvard University's Dr. Jack Shonkoff says: "Play is exploration. Play is trying things. Play is trying to figure out [why] when you do one thing, something else happens. Play is trying to develop a sense of mastery of the world." The good news is…, 1. Baby mobile, Why: Develops hand-eye coordination and stimulates visual skills. , 2. Peekaboo, Why: Helps children to understand that people and things exist even if they don't see them., 3. Build-a-band, Why: Stimulates the coordination movements and helps strengthen your young child's hands., 4. Shake shake shake, Why: Stimulates your baby's ability to see, hear and grasp objects., 5. Sort the shapes, Why: Helps children learn to classify objects based on colour, shape, size., 6. Tickle tickle, Why: Helps develop senses and encourages communication., 7. Imagination builder, Why: Helps develop your child's thinking, imagination and movement coordination. Videos filmed by UNICEF Paraguay.