This webinar was part of Eurochild's breakfast webinars to mark World Children’s Day 2020. Focusing on the economic arguments for investing in children, this webinar also highlighted Finland’s efforts to prioritise children’s rights and why this makes economic sense.
H.E. Marie-Louise Perera, President of Eurochild opened the webinar by bringing attention to the suffering of children as a consequence of the pandemic, as documented in the new Growing Up in Lockdown report. Eurochild, she explained, has developed the #Childonomics model that can be used to help inform policies of investing in children’s wellbeing within an economy of wellbeing.
Angel Gurría, Secretary General of OECD expressed that investing in children and their wellbeing is a winning ticket for social resilience, highlighting OECD’s rich tradition of measuring wellbeing beyond GDP. “With COVID19 taking a heavy toll on children, mechanisms like the Next Generation EU should put children at the front and centre of all recovery efforts,” said Gurria. Because as Olivier Thévenon, Head of the Children's Well-Being Unit at OECD, later explained, it takes five generations to lift children from poor families out of poverty and they are the future human capital and taxpayers.
Krista Kiuru, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services of Finland expressed her appreciation for the work of Eurochild and OECD on putting children at the centre of recovery debates. The way forward, she explained, is committing to an economy of wellbeing while building national strategies for children across political spectrums, across disciplines and with local communities. Sanna Koulu, Senior Adviser for the National Child Strategy in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, further explained that the national strategy is now intertwined with their COVID19 recovery strategy.
Professor Jennifer Davidson, Executive Director, of Inspiring Children’s Futures raised the question on how civil society could help policy makers to put children first in an economy of wellbeing. “We need to make sure that all stakeholders are connected, including children, and organisations like Eurochild with a fantastic track record on child participation,” Davidson said.
Last but not least, participants heard from Eetu, from the Children’s Parliament of the city of Tampere (Finland) and a member of the Eurochild Children's Council who called on politicians to listen and make room for children’s perspectives because adults might not remember what they needed as children. “Sometimes children’s voices can be smarter than adults, like for example Greta Thunberg,” Eetu concluded.