Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg recently initiated a child rights driven campaign to aid the efforts of UNICEF in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign has been launched in collaboration with Human Act, a Danish NGO to protect children from the impact of the coronavirus and its repercussions, which include loss of education, violence, food shortage, and insufficient healthcare.
Thunberg was awarded a prize money of $100,000 for her activism on climate change by Human Act. This entire amount will be donated by Thunberg to the campaign. Human Act will match her donation and start this initiative with an initial sum of $200,000.
According to a press release by UNICEF, Thunberg said, “Like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child-rights crisis.”
“It will affect all children, now and in the long-term, but vulnerable groups will be impacted the most. I’m asking everyone to step up and join me in support of UNICEF’s vital work to save children’s lives, to protect health and continue education.”
While children have, fortunately, not been as vulnerable to the coronavirus as adults and the senior citizens, they do face indirect consequences in terms of their overall well being.
This initiative seeks to help children tide over these consequences by providing access to key supplies and services for children and the vulnerable groups, providing mental health and psychosocial support to children and families that have been impacted by the virus, supporting the education of children and providing opportunities for distance learning for students that cannot access school, and maintaining essential immunization and other healthcare services for children.
“The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest struggle the world has seen in generations,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Children and young people are among the most severely impacted by the knock-on effects of COVID-19, so it is only natural that they would want to do something about it. Through her activism, Greta Thunberg has proven that young people are ready to take a stand and lead change in the world. UNICEF is very pleased that Greta and her supporters have not only chosen to take a stand against this pandemic, but to do so in partnership with UNICEF.”
We salute Greta Thunberg and Human Act for this wonderful initiative.