Last week, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) convened a forum called “Opportunity Africa: 2013” at Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware. The conference brought together interested citizens of Delaware with individuals from government and the private sector who work on a range of issues related to Africa. Topics included trade, business, security, geopolitics, international development and humanitarian issues. The momentum to save children that is coming from Africa is notable, as Africa’s leaders seek partners and support in the effort to get to ZERO preventable child deaths.
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According to the World Health Organization, a staggering 10% of world’s children are disabled. These children are often targets of exclusion, stigmatization, neglect, violence and abuse. UNESCO estimates that in developing countries, up to 90% of these children do not attend school. UNICEF strongly supports the ratification of the world’s newest human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We need your help to make sure the Senate approves the CRPD before the end of the year, and we urge you to add your voice!
Sabre, the global travel technology company, recently launched its “Passport to Freedom” initiative to fight child sex trafficking and exploitation. The company also joined the “Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.” This is a big deal: Sabre is the first such company to join “The Code.”
The Code, a joint venture of ECPAT International and the tourism private sector, provides a way for businesses in the travel and tourism industry to combat child sexual exploitation. UNICEF serves as an advisory partner for The Code.
UNICEF marked October 11, 2012, as the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child, established last year by the United Nations General Assembly to draw international attention to girls’ rights. This first commemoration focused on the prevention of a fundamental human rights violation that affects every aspect of a girl’s life: child marriage.
Child marriage has lasting negative impacts on girls. The practice denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk of violence and abuse, and jeopardizes her health.
President Obama recently declared that fighting human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time. In a speech delivered at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the President announced a number of concrete measures his administration is taking to help identify and protect victims, and prevent this crime in the U.S. and around the world.
According to ILO estimates, globally there are 5.5 million child victims of trafficking. President Obama condemned the practice, whether for forced labor or sexual exploitation, as ‘modern slavery.’
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is partnering with the Global Poverty Project to launch Global Citizen—an enduring online community and movement against extreme poverty with real-world successes. Global Citizen is a web platform that will unite and amplify the calls of the movement to end extreme poverty.
And this September, as world leaders gather in New York for the UN General Assembly, we’re hosting the Global Festival—a massive advocacy, free ticketed concert that will put the movement to end extreme poverty in the headlines. This historic event will bring Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Band of Horses, K’naan and 60,000 change makers together on the Great Lawn in Central Park, where we will raise our voices and urge our leaders and fellow citizens to do more to tackle extreme poverty.