Child-friendly indicators for each goal to Fight Unfairness and Inequality
As part of the UNICEF-supported campaign “Seen and Heard”, children associated with partner NINEISMINE organised the Game to End Poverty initiative with 17 activities on the global goals. The objective of this initiative, held on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, was to welcome the new goals to India and initiate a deeper conversation for stronger, measurable child-friendly indicators for the 17 goals, to ensure all children enjoy the benefits of development equitably.
Interspersed with the games were performances and short talks by children on their expectations from the Sustainable Development Goals. A young advocate, 16-year-old Kalpana said, highlighted participation and freedom of expression for children as key rights enshrined in the UN CRC. “We need to be given the opportunity to speak out on matters that concern us. Only then can we ensure that we all are represented and benefit equally from the new goals.”
Caroline den Dulk, Chief of Advocacy and Communications UNICEF, said, “Unfortunately where a child is born determines the chances of his or her survival, economic status, prospects of education. But to fight this unfairness, the new goals have expanded our scope to focus on reducing inequality, ending violence against children and combating child poverty, for instance. And there is a clear and definitive mandate for ‘leaving no one behind’ – starting all endeavours with those who are the most vulnerable – including children.”
A discussion on child-friendly indicators was held, which concluded with the lighting of lamps by various dignitaries present–as a gesture of their support and commitment towards children. Activist Dipa Sinha with the Right to Food Campaign highlighted the need for an indicator on stunting for Goal 2, while convener of the Right to Education Forum, Ambarish Rai emphasised on an indicator on transition of girls from primary to secondary and higher education for Goal 4.
Brother Steve Rocha, Coordinator, NINEISMINE said, “Seen and Heard campaign enables children to be part of the conversation right from the start – from setting of the framework to its implementation and monitoring. Today, we have begun the process for framing child friendly indicators to ensure the ‘last child’ comes first. Moving forward, these children will take on the role of monitoring the implementation of programmes.”
Representatives of UN agencies, High Commissions and Embassies in India, corporates and civil society extended their support.
The yearlong “Seen and Heard” campaign has provided children diverse platforms to express their opinions on their rights and to directly advocate to the policy and decision makers in the country. As a result, these young advocates have presented their recommendations on the goals to the Ministry of External Affairs, Commissioners of Embassies (such as Canada, Afghanistan and the Republic of Ireland), UN Agencies and to a number of activists and experts. A delegation presented its recommendations to world leaders during a visit to New York during the 70thUN General Assembly week.