‘Urgent Practical Action’ Can Still Save Millennium Development Goals, Says Children’s Charity Plan

September 21, 2010

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can still be achieved if practical measures are taken quickly, international children’s organization Plan said today. The United Nations has admitted that without a concerted effort, attempts to meet the goals to reduce global poverty by 2015 will fail in most areas.

But children’s charity Plan International–founded in 1937 and actively working in 60 countries–says action in three key areas over the remaining five years will help towards attaining the MDGs, dramatically improving the lives of millions of children. They are:

  • Universal birth registration
  • Stopping violence in school
  • Improving the lives of girls

Universal birth registration provides essential, accurate population data for monitoring the MDGs, in particular reducing child mortality (MDG4); improving maternal health (MDG5); and promoting gender equality and empowering women (MDG3).

Without a birth certificate a child may not be able to receive immunizations or free health care, take state exams, or claim rights to inheritance or legal protection. Proof of age is also critical for prosecuting crimes against children such as trafficking, sexual offences, early recruitment into the armed forces, child marriage, and child labor.

MDGs 2 and 3 cannot be achieved unless international organizations, governments, local communities, teachers, parents, and children work together to uphold children’s right to a violence-free education. The billions spent on education are wasted if children are simply too scared to go to school.

Lack of investment in girls puts several MDGs at threat, starting with MDG 1. Crucial investments are also needed in access to healthcare to stop more girls from dying (MDG 4); to prevent girls from missing out on school due to persistent illness (MDG 6); and to establish pre-school education so girls and families become more engaged in their education (MDG 2 and 3).

“The next five years offer a small window of opportunity in which world leaders must take swift, decisive action. There will be no ‘second chance’ for millions of vulnerable children,” said Plan International CEO Nigel Chapman.

“Plan’s very practical campaigns are going some way towards giving marginalized children the protection, opportunity and rights in life to which they are entitled. But what is now needed is far more commitment from governments. Otherwise millions of children will die simply because of the increasing gulf between the very rich and the very poor.”

Plan is calling upon all governments to: Ensure that child rights are central to all decisions made on the MDGs; increase global efforts to achieve Universal Birth Registration; outlaw all violence against children in schools; and increase investments in girls’ education from early childcare and development to secondary school.

To find out more about Plan’s campaigns go to:



Source: newswire

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