Children of today and tomorrow are central to sustainable development and the future of our planet and all its inhabitants. All too often in practice, however, the issues of children and young people are seen only as a “social” issue – while their health, safety, education and rights are also inextricably linked to ensuring economic growth and shared prosperity, a protected natural environment and more stable, safer societies. Overlooking their role is to the peril of us all, the communities in which we live and to the planet.
This paper explores the dynamic and dramatic interplay between the realization of children’s rights and sustainable development. The evidence presented makes a powerful case for why and how these issues must be directly addressed in the discussions towards a Post-2015 Development Agenda and the eventual framework that will emerge. It is a call to action for decision-makers to invest in children’s rights, education and well-being as an integral means to achieving sustainable development.