Children and young people from around the world will join UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Ishmael Beah, David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, Millie Bobby Brown and Priyanka Chopra Jonas for virtual conversations in celebration of World Children’s Day.
In the week leading up to World Children’s Day on 20th November – a day of action for children, by children – the high-profile supporters will share their conversations with young people from around the world about issues that matter to them, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and education, and how they would reimagine a better future.
“2020 has been challenging, so this World Children’s Day it’s more important than ever for young people to speak out on the issues that affect them,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Millie Bobby Brown. “All around the world, children and young people are coming up with creative solutions to today’s problems, including climate change and remote learning during the pandemic. I’m excited to join other UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors to use our voices to help lift up theirs.”
The series kicks off on 13 November with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham and runs until 20 November:
- UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Founder of the 7 Fund, David Beckham will speak with 18-year-old Sebabatso from South Africa on issues including science, gender equality and human rights.
- UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and actor Orlando Bloom will speak with 11-year-old Maria about how she is taking action to protect the environment in her home country, Barbados.
- UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and author Ishmael Beah will speak with 14-year-old Lunjok about advocating with other children for a clean environment in her home country, South Sudan.
- UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas will speak with 16-year-old Aditya from India about his campaign against single-use plastics and his goal of eliminating 50,000 plastic drinking straws in his country.
- UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and actor Millie Bobby Brown will speak with 17-year-old Emmanuel from Tanzania; 17-year-old Aibanu from Kazakhstan and 14-year-old Gitanjali from the United States of America on issues including education, mental health and technology innovations.
UNICEF National Ambassadors and Supporters Halima Aden, Gemma Chan, Liam Payne and Alejandro Sanz will also participate in conversations with children and young people from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Montenegro, Spain, the United Kingdom and Yemen.
World Children’s Day – now in its fourth year – aims to raise awareness and funds for the millions of children that are denied their right to adequate health care, nutrition, education and protection.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hard-won gains to protect and advance children’s rights are being threatened. The number of children living in multidimensional poverty has soared by 15 per cent to approximately 1.2 billion worldwide; at least 24 million children risk dropping out of school, and thousands of children could die every day if the pandemic continues to weaken health systems and disrupt routine services. Restricted movement and school closures have also cut children off from teachers, friends and communities leaving them at increased risk of violence, abuse and exploitation.
“This year has been life-altering for an entire generation of children and young people,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “But we can draw hope and inspiration from all of the progress we are making to respond to COVID-19 and reimagine stronger systems for the future. From distance learning through technology, to building stronger community-based health, nutrition, and water and sanitation systems, to the equitable delivery of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility, we have many reasons to look to 2021 with a renewed sense of optimism. On this World Children’s Day, we call on the global community to help us keep this hope alive by standing with children and young people in their hour of need.”