Practically every area of government policy – from education to public health – affects children to some degree. Short-sighted policymaking that fails to take children into account has a negative impact on the future of all members of society.
Children’s views should be heard and considered in the political process
Children generally do not vote and do not traditionally take part in political processes. Without special attention to the opinions of children – as expressed at home and in schools, in local communities and even in governments – children’s views go unheard on the many important issues that affect them now or will affect them in the future.
Many changes in society are having a disproportionate, and often negative, impact on children
Transformation of the family structure, globalization, climate change, digitalization, mass migration, shifting employment patterns and a shrinking social welfare net in many countries all have strong impacts on children. The impact of these changes can be particularly devastating in situations of armed conflict and other emergencies.
The healthy development of children is crucial to the future well-being of any society
Because they are still developing, children are especially vulnerable – more so than adults – to poor living conditions such as poverty, inadequate health care, nutrition, safe water, housing and environmental pollution. The effects of disease, malnutrition and poverty threaten the future of children and therefore the future of the societies in which they live.
The costs to society of failing its children are huge
Social research findings show that children’s earliest experiences significantly influence their future development. The course of their development determines their contribution, or cost, to society over the course of their lives.