“Inequality is not inevitable. Inequality is a choice. Promoting justice – equal opportunities for every child – that is a choice. This is an important choice for the future of children and society itself.”
This was one of the main conclusions Michel Saint-Lot, Director of UNICEF in Serbia at the plenary session of the Kopaonik Business Forum “Social inclusion and inclusiveness in relation to the nature and prospects of young people”, which was also attended by Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of work, employment and, social and veterans’ issues.
“Serbia undoubtedly progressed in the reform of the state, but the government and other stakeholders should further focus on the strategic importance of investing in human capital, especially in children as the most important resource in the country. If children are healthy, educated, and later trained to work and able to earn a decent salary, then they are empowered to meet their basic needs and be successful and benefit from the society and the society will benefit from them too” said Michel Saint-Lot, Director of UNICEF in Serbia.
Every child should have the opportunity to grow, develop their skills and potential and contribute to their family and community. Sustainable development is possible only if we are teaching future generations. Therefore, investment in health, education, and physical, emotional and cognitive development of children is a true investment in the future generations, the economy and the labour force, which triggers the development of each country.
“In order to achieve the necessary reforms, we have taken into account in the restructuring of the public sector. It would not be a good idea to reduce the scope of services that have proven to be useful, efficient and cost-effective, such as those provided by family assistants, visiting nurses and Roma health mediators. These are services that are crucial for the development of human resources and they are essential for the changes that we want to implement” said Saint-Lot.
Participants agreed that investing in early childhood development through quality education and quality medical services to every child is the opportunity to realise their full potential.