Children in All Policies 2030: a new initiative to implement the recommendations of the WHO–UNICEF–Lancet Commission

Children in All Policies 2030
Catalysing health and well-being for future generations
The future for 2.4 billion children is under unprecedented threat, yet bad outcomes are not inevitable. We can, across the world, make better choices. CAP-2030 works to centre children’s health and well-being in all policies, to ensure an equitable, sustainable future. We implement the recommendations of the WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission by promoting children’s rights and protecting their health through science, advocacy and coalition-building.


The Lancet
May 01, 2021 Volume 397 Number 10285 p1597-1682, e11
Children in All Policies 2030: a new initiative to implement the recommendations of the WHO–UNICEF–Lancet Commission
Sarah L Dalglish, Anthony Costello, Helen Clark, Awa Coll-Seck
… Our Commission’s report sounded the alarm about stalled progress on the health of children and adolescents. The evidence is incontrovertible: successful societies invest in their children and young people, producing lifelong, intergenerational benefits for health, wellbeing, and the economy.1

We called on governments to work across sectors to deliver children’s entitlements, as specified by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, by leveraging high-level political leadership and engaging communities, families, and children themselves. We drew attention to emerging threats to children, notably, the climate crisis and the insidious commercial exploitation of children through inappropriate marketing of products and services, such as alcohol, tobacco, sugar-sweetened beverages, breastmilk substitutes, and gambling apps, often by exploiting children’s developmental vulnerabilities and social media data…

On April 21, 2021, we launched Children in All Policies 2030 (CAP-2030), with the support of our founding partners WHO, UNICEF, and The Lancet. Our ambition is to join our voices to those of children and young people, activists, civil society institutions, religious groups, UN organisations, politicians, governments, private sector leaders, academics, and others working to centre children’s health and wellbeing in the urgent work of sustainable development. We encourage people to join the movement to preserve children’s future and contribute to CAP-2030 by getting in touch via our website…

Lancet Commission
Panel 1: Recommendations for placing children at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
:: Heads of state should create a high-level mechanism or assign one overarching department to coordinate work with and for children across sectors, create an enabling environment to enact child-friendly policies, and assess the effect of all policies on children

:: Heads of state and governments should create or designate a monitoring system to track budget allocations to child wellbeing, using this process to mobilise domestic resources, by means of fiscal instruments that benefit the poorest in society, for additional investment

:: Government officials at the relevant ministry, national academics, and research institutions should develop strategies to improve data reporting for SDG indicators measuring child wellbeing, equity, and carbon emissions, using country information systems and citizen-led data and accountability

:: Local government leaders should establish a cross-cutting team to mobilise action for child health and wellbeing, involving civil society, children themselves, and other stakeholders as appropriate

:: UNICEF child-health ambassadors and other global children’s advocates should mobilise governments and communities to adopt child-friendly wellbeing and sustainability policies, and advocate for rapid reductions in carbon emissions to preserve the planet for the next generation

:: Leaders in children’s health, rights, and sustainability should reframe their understanding of the SDGs as being for and about children, and the threat to their future from greenhouse gas emissions, mainly by high-income countries

:: Children should be given high-level platforms to share their concerns and ideas and to claim their rights to a healthy future and planet

:: Country leaders on child health and child rights should push for the adoption of new protocols to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to protect children from harmful commercial practices

:: Country representatives to the UN should work together to create a simplified, effectively multisectoral UN architecture to reduce fragmentation and siloes, and to put action for children at the centre of the SDGs

:: WHO and UNICEF leadership should meet with heads of other UN agencies to plan coordinated action to support countries to enact focused, effective policies to achieve the SDGs, and work with regional bodies to help countries to share progress and best practice