Tirana 20 November 2020 — This is a day to raise our voices and unite. On the World Children’s day, the international agencies and/or organizations European Union, UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision and Terre des hommes, join forces to ask government that doing business as usual for children it’s not enough. We need new ways of engagement to build a political space for children with a special focus on the most affected and most disadvantaged.
On this special day, key messages coming from children all over Albania are displayed at the buildings of the Ministries of Health and Social Protection, Ministry of Education and at the Mother’s Teresa Square under the slogan #Reimagine a better future. Their messages call for a better Albania where every child can have a happy childhood, can grow up healthy, can go to school and learn and feel protected.
Despite major advances since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, the world remains a deeply unfair place for the poorest and most disadvantaged children. The anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child allows us to reflect on how children’s lives have been transformed and for millions of children, life is better. However, we need to do more to reach those children who have been left behind, children who are invisible or excluded. We need to listen to children’s views, engage them in decision making in all matters affecting them.
Disruptions to health care, nutrition, education, social and child protection services due to COVID-19, have been overwhelming for children and young people. The impact of the pandemic will affect children’s lives for years to come, even if a breakthrough vaccine becomes available soon. As such, how the Albanian Government responds now to the myriad risks that the pandemic poses to children and adolescents will determine their future.
With the crisis continuing to deepen, it is essential that much more time, resources and efforts are invested into understanding better the full impact of the crisis and formulating proven and promising practices to meet their rights and needs. Let’s join forces and ACT NOW for children, by making girls and boys, especially the most vulnerable, a priority in the national and global response to COVID-19. Like most things worthwhile, it will be challenging to achieve. But for our common future, and for the present and future of our children, it is a challenge we must rise to as soon as possible.