7 June 2013

The Post-2015 Development Agenda: What about children?

6/7/2012: Richard Pichler, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages International, called the latest United Nations recommendations for the global development agenda “bold and practical.” However, the recommendations show that much more must be done for children and families, especially those children in various forms of alternative care.

“The only way to end all forms of violence against children is by ensuring that all children, in the care of their families or in alternative forms of care, receive quality care in loving and protective family environments,” said Mr. Pichler.

The UN recommendations came in the form of a report, published on May 31, titled A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development. Developed by the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the report is meant to stimulate discussion and debate among development organizations around the world.

Silence on Violence against All Children

According to Mr. Pichler, “It is a good starting point for further discussions, but we must be more ambitious in tackling global development challenges. More must be done for children, young people and families. The most marginalized and disadvantaged [still] need support. Children without parental care and families at risk of separation must be included. The HLP report has quite rightly recognized the need to reach the most vulnerable; however, it has failed to acknowledge children and young people in this category.”

SOS Children’s Villages welcomes the fact that human rights are featured in the HLP report. The various targets outlined, such as eradicating extreme poverty and building open, accountable institutions for all, could have a tremendous positive effect on the lives of children everywhere. However, SOS would like to see indicators that the HLP and the UN to acknowledge that violence against children goes beyond physical violence or violence against just girls.  All forms of indirect violence against children, regardless of gender, must be acknowledged and eliminated. 

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Further Work For 2015 to be Done

Global development targets must address issues of health, disaster risk reduction, nutrition, education, ending preventable child deaths, birth registration, violence against children, and youth unemployment. SOS Children’s Villages is at the forefront of tackling these issues across four continents. Referring to the Millennium Development Goals Mr. Pichler said, “we have two years left to fulfill the ambitious targets set out by world leaders – we must stay focused on our task. The promise of a new agenda cannot replace the commitment we have made to take action now.”

SOS Children’s Villages urges governments, civil society and the international community to address today’s challenges, while also engaging in debate for the future. Targets need to be refined to address the key issues faced by millions of children and families. They must come first.

Read the report:

A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development.