Kate Middleton is speaking out, urging the world to recognize that all children deserve an equal start in life. Unveiling the results of a U.K. survey on attitudes about children’s early years, she said work on the importance of early childhood should be regarded equally alongside the other most crucial social issues of our era. She argues that the early childhood years are key to shaping the rest of each child’s lives and our broader societal outcomes.
The work she advocates is a far cry from the outdated standard still used by the United Nations, the United States, and many other countries that ignore child welfare in favor of focusing on parental autonomy (and in so many cases, exclusively male autonomy). Given that children have the most at stake, shouldn’t our family planning systems be based on their needs? Other mothers are speaking out, too. See a recent video of one mom’s plea here.
This move makes Kate a leader on the issue of family planning reform. The bold statement brings her into closer alignment with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who also recently spoke out.
The move, prompted in part by Kate’s “early years” work, could not come soon enough. Children in Britain and around the world are sinking deeper into an abyss of pandemic, poverty, and ecological crisis. Kate’s move is also step toward Having Kids‘ mission of promoting every child’s right to a Fair Start in life as the dominant human right, overriding anything with which it would conflict.
We cannot help kids without changing the conditions into which they are born. That means we must change the policies that control way we all plan for and raise kids. Kate knows this hard truth and is not afraid to speak out. Kudos to her. It’s time for the United Nations to make the same move and to start urging member nations to come into compliance with human rights requirements. This summer for World Population Day, Having Kids will bring to the United Nations secretary general the demands of a growing coalition of organizations.
If you support any organization that claims to help children, animals, the environment, and/or human rights and democracy, reason with them as to why their mission is impossible without embracing family planning reform, and strongly urge them to join our coalition by contacting us at Carter@HavingKids.org.
Learn more about the transition from parent-focused to child-focused Fair Start family planning policies at HavingKids.org.