"I believe we have a real challenge in guaranteeing that every single child gets every single right, no matter the background, the economic situation of the family, the gender. I dream of a generation that grows up without having to work any longer on the gender equality issues in the future".
The words above of Federica Mogherini during this year's flagship event at UNGA@74 to launch the EU-UNICEF global campaign on children's rights, grasp perfectly how the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child should be respected and applied on daily basis everywhere thirty years after its adoption.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child remains the most ratified UN Treaty and has played a vital role in improving the lives of children. At the high level event to celebrate its 30th anniversary, UNICEF's Executive Director Henrietta Fore and the EU High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini were interviewed by children and young people with the focus on three questions: what has been the progress for children's rights over the past 30 years? What are the new challenges that children are facing today and that didn’t exist 30 years ago? What have you done and what is your commitment to continue to promote and protect the rights of children around the globe? The event was also attended by Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium who is an official SDG advocate and used to be a UNICEF Belgium Ambassador.
As stated by UNICEF's Executive Director Mrs Fore, "for 30 years, the Convention on the Rights of the Child has helped improve lives, but challenges remain". Real challenges for children across the planet include children as refugees, children as soldiers, inequalities, persisting risk of child labour, the increasing threat of bullying, online and offline; and the growing problem of children being torn apart from their families and losing their homes.
For this reason, UNICEF and the EU have decided to join forces this year to launch a joint campaign called #TheRealChallenge. Because we want adolescents to express their views on their own rights and in their own language, we will be reaching them where they are: on Tik Tok, a social media platform used by 500 million people, most of whom are below the age of 18. This campaign will be triggered by 4 short videos that adolescents will challenge to reproduce with their own images. The campaign will be activated beginning of October and will run at least until 20 November, which is the anniversary of the Convention. The videos will have an emotional and personal style and convey the message that children's rights are universal and cannot be taken for granted.
The campaign demonstrates how the EU and UNICEF see the engagement of both adults and children into the enjoyment of children's rights: “We have to listen, to create space, to follow you and empower you“, Federica Mogherini said during the event. "We have the responsibility that every child has the feeling of belonging". #TheRealChallenge campaign will help spread this and other messages across the globe.
You want to join? Look out for #TheRealChallenge soon on TikTok!