Urgent action is needed to prevent millions of children from missing out on the benefits of innovation, according to a report released yesterday by UNICEF.
“The State of the World’s Children Report - Reimagine the Future: Innovation for Every Child”, was released by the UNICEF on December 4 in Hanoi. It states that connectivity and collaboration can fuel new global networks to leverage innovation to reach every child. The report calls on governments, development professionals, businesses, activists and communities to work together to drive new ideas for tackling some of the most pressing problems facing children, and to find new ways of scaling up the best and most promising local innovations.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Vietnam was the first country in Asia and second in the world to ratify the Convention, in 1990. Since then there has been tremendous progress in advancing child rights. Under-five mortality rates have been reduced by 75 per cent and most children now attend primary school. High immunization coverage helped eradicate polio in 2000 and maternal and neonatal tetanus in 2005. However, the rights of millions of children are violated every day, with the poorest 20 per cent of the world’s children twice as likely as the richest 20 per cent to die before their fifth birthday, almost one in four children in the least developed countries is engaged in child labor, and millions of children regularly experience discrimination, physical and sexual violence, and abuse and neglect. Vietnam has made a considerable slide in the development of growth with equity, and a major unfinished agenda remains in terms of the human development of hard-to-reach ethnic minorities, urban migrants, and other vulnerable population groups.
This latest edition of UNICEF’s flagship report argues that innovations such as oral rehydration salts and ready-to-use therapeutic foods have helped drive radical change in the lives of millions of children in the last 25 years and that more innovative products, processes, and partnerships are critical to realizing the rights of the hardest-to-reach children. Mr. Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, told the release ceremony that this is a very meaningful and useful report for Vietnam to know its position and the results of its implementation of children’s rights compared to countries in the region and the world. UNICEF has prioritized innovation across its network of more than 190 countries, setting up hubs around the world to foster new ways of thinking, working and collaborating with partners and to nurture local talent.