Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has met with Plan Norway and UNICEF Norway at the Royal Palace in Oslo. Crown Prince Haakon is the protector of this year’s Norwegian TV charity campaign which aims to collect funds to Plan’s work to fight child marriage in five countries.
The representatives of Plan Norway informed the Crown Prince about the specific projects in the period up to 24 October and how they plan to use the funds raised. Under the action name “Children, not brides”, Plan Norway wants to reach three million people to end child marriages where they know it can make a difference in Bangladesh, Nepal, Malawi, Mali and Niger. Every three seconds, a girl gets married. That amounts to 12 million girls in one year. Child marriage slows down development and perpetuates poverty. Where girls are married off as children and lose the opportunity to go to school, the risk of being exposed to violence and abuse increases.
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, works to help children around the world, and the rights of all children in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 2009, UNICEF Norway has run the program “You can be the one”. During the meeting, the representatives told the Crown Prince about this work. Many children in Norway also find it difficult, and often it takes no more than one safe adult to create a positive change in a child’s life. Hence the name «You can be the One». The goal of the program is to inspire adults to act on their own initiative and become the person who makes a change in a child’s life.
UNICEF also believes that the climate crisis is a child rights crisis. Another important topic for the meeting with Crown Prince Haakon was how climate changes children’s fundamental rights, such as the right to life, development, good health, education and a good standard of living.