10 Mar Oral Statement from Make Mothers Matter, Geneva, HRC 34th Session
34th session of the Human Right Council –
Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child
“Make Mothers Matter – MMM – wishes to stress the importance of maternal health and the early years of children for the realization of the 2030 Agenda.
Many children don’t get the start in life that they are entitled to, especially if they live in poverty or suffer from violence, abuse, or neglect. Adversities during a mother’s pregnancy or during the early years of a child produces biological memories that can undermine their development to full potential and jeopardize their future.
Beyond basic nutrition and health services, investing in physical and mental maternal health, as well as early parenting support and early childhood education and care, so that every child receives nurturing and responsive care, can bring high returns. Targeting the most vulnerable families especially has the potential to break the cycle of poverty and lead to more peaceful communities and societies.
Investing in early childhood development, starting during pregnancy, and supporting and educating parents and other caregivers in their caring and nurturing role, would contribute to the realization of many SDGs across the 2030 agenda. These include the SDGs on health and education, but also other SDGs such as the eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequality, economic growth, gender equality, and ultimately, the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies.
Therefore, MMM calls on all governments to Invest in maternal health, parenting support for early childhood education and care, starting during pregnancy and until age 3. It is not only a matter of child rights; it is also a key opportunity and strategy for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda.
To that effect, MMM and 3 other partner organizations have developed the Childhood and Early Parenting Principles (CEPPs), a policy framework for multi-stakeholder and multi-sector mobilization and engagement with governments at all levels, to improve support for mothers, fathers and other caregivers in their caring and nurturing role during pregnancy and the early years of a child – and thus ensure that no family and no child is left behind (1)”.
(1) Available on www.cepprinciples.org
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