COVID-19 has laid bare the inequalities in our world that exist for our children and has put some of the world’s most vulnerable children at greater risk for poor outcomes, violence and abuse, poor mental health and increased early school dropout. So much of the gains to improve children’s lives were lost to the outbreak of the virus. It now requires increased efforts to get our children back on track. On this World Children’s Day: A Better Future for Every Child, I recognise the work already underway.

World Children's Day
Photo: Margo Morrison

Fortunately, there is a recognition of the urgency of the situation. Globally, there are efforts to understand and stem the impact of COVID-19 on this generation of children.

In research and government policies, this is evident in the vaccination of children, the development of practical solutions for reopening schools, investments in infrastructure such as broadband for all, and developing strategies for closing the resource gaps.

Everyone has an equal part to play as our decisions and actions now will provide a better future for our children.

Children’s Action – A Better Future for Every Child

Rather than being passive actors in decisions about their lives and futures, children are active in matters that concern them and their future. Children are already in action with young people’s activism for racial and economic justice, climate change, speaking up against violence and abuse, and demanding to be stakeholders in their future.

A Better Future for Every Child
My Happy Baby: Margo Morrison

Reflective and Collective Efforts

For many of us, the pandemic brought opportunities for us to re-examine our lives and prioritise our health and well-being. We started taking more time for self-care, spending time with families and friends and making changes to remove things that depleted our quality of life.

For many parents, this meant spending more time talking to and understanding their children and taking an interest in their mental health and well-being.

Communities came together and helped individual members who needed financial and social support. These collective and reflective efforts helped so many of us out of the isolation, depression and uncertainties we faced and gave us the boost and resilience we needed to forge ahead.

A better future for our children requires open and honest conversations, recognition of change and a willingness to act. We are already on this path. As I celebrate World Children’s Day: A Better Future for Every Child, I remain hopeful.

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