Reaching and Investing in Children at the Margins, Prague, 3-6 November
“Reaching and Investing in Children at the Margins” was the title of the event co-hosted by ISSA and the Open Society Foundations in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences’ Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally, in Prague, November. The public events attracted top-class speakers from across the world and featured presentations and discussions highlighting the science and economics of investing in children at the margins of society by investing in their health, education, nutrition, and social protection. The opening keynote address was delivered by Jonathan Todres, Professor of Law at Georgia State University, whose primary research areas include child trafficking, domestic implementation of children’s rights law, economic and social rights issues. Entitled "Young Children's Rights", Professor Todres systematically compared the Sustainable Development Goals with the ambitions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Concluding with Key Considerations in Children's Rights, he highlighted the time-sensitive nature of children's rights: such as the position of Syrian refugee children and how their rights can be upheld in such circumstances. On the second day, following a series of insightful presentations on Measurement Tools, Emily Vargas-Baron, Director of The RISE Institute, rounded of the morning with a quote from Enrique Penalosa, Mayor of Bogata: "Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for all people" Speakers reviewed the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as it applies to young children, and explored how discrimination and social exclusion impact early development. Subsequent sessions focused on new information about children living at the margins, as well as the impact of discrimination on young children from under-resourced groups, highlighting the example of Roma children in Europe. We will bring you a full summary of the event in the very near future.