In the face of imminent threats arising from climate change, commercial marketing of harmful products, and pervasive inequities, the new WHO–UNICEF–Lancet Commission makes a compelling ethical and economic case for investing in the world’s children. The Commission advocates for children to be at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for the protection of their health and rights. This agenda is essential and urgent to avoid mistakes that could cost a generation the chance to grow up safely, happily, and with abundant resources.
Crucially, the Commission recognises children and adolescents as active agents with rights to freedom of expression, dignity, and citizenship: decision makers in their own lives and in society at large. Integrating young people into decision making contributes to a more cohesive and egalitarian society, catalysing our ability to create a sustainable and healthy future