1 UNICEF Office in Albania, Tirana, Albania.
A landmark report was released on February 19, 2020 by a Commission of over 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world. The Commission was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and The Lancet.
The report constitutes the first comprehensive, independent report to reposition every aspect of child health through the lens of our rapidly changing climate and other existential threats.This report explores how different sectors can better contribute to a world in which our children can flourish in a sustainable manner.
Despite many successes with better child survival, a reduction in vaccine-preventable diseases, and improvements in under-nutrition, literacy and access to health care, our children face new threats. Climate change is a dominant and existential threat to all children. Pollution, conflict, migration and longer-term reversals in life expectancy from obesity are additional challenges. Equally, children also face increasing exploitation from commercial advertising and social media through promotion of inappropriate foods, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, sexual exploitation and theft of personal data. The health and future of children in every country is at risk.
The proposed areas for action include: i) protection of children from the identified threats, ii) regulation of harmful commercial marketing, iii)investment in children to address the sustainable development funding gap, iv) measurement of country progress with indicators of both children flourishing and carbon emissions, and v) empowerment of children.
In order to monitor SDG progress for children, two important indexes were introduced: the child flourishing index constructed based on key child survive and thrive indicators, and a proxy sustainability index for the future based on excess CO2 emissions relative to 2030 targets.