EU and UNICEF raise awareness about air pollution in schools

EU and UNICEF raise awareness about air pollution in schools

13. 11. 2019

Ulaanbaatar – In celebration of the 30th anniversary of CRC the EU Ambassador to Mongolia Mr. Traian Laurentiu Hristea and the UNICEF Resident Representative Mr. Alex Heikens visited school number 35 in Ulaanbaatar and talked about Child rights and air pollution issues with around 100 children aged 9-10.

“Children around the world have the right to live in safe environment, however they are the most vulnerable to air pollution and they need to learn how to protect themselves. The immediate action that children can take against the negative impacts of air pollution is to wear masks,” said the EU Ambassador Traian Hristea at the meeting.

Every child has a right to be born well, and to be cared and raised well. However Mongolia’s air pollution level in Ulaanbaatar is 6-10 times higher than those considered safe by the World Health Organization air quality guidelines. This is the reason the European Union and UNICEF are joining forces to reaffirm their commitment to protect and promote the rights of every child. And this is why the European Union (EU) and the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar funded a public awareness campaign to raise awareness that wearing masks is one of the important mitigation measures to reduce negative impacts of toxic air.

“We need to continuously provide information and guidance to public on what they can do to reduce their exposure. Most important is to improve indoor air quality, for example, by installing air purifiers and closing the windows during peak hours of pollution, because most of us spend 80-90% of our time indoors. When people do have to go outside, try to avoid peak hours of pollution and do wear a certified and well-fitted filtering face mask. Also taking care of your children’ overall health is the most important. That means eating nutritious foods, getting vaccinated and seeking doctor’s advice when a child gets sick without delay” said UNICEF Resident Representative Alex Heikens.

The campaign is implemented through "Right to Breathe" project in collaboration with the international NGO - People in Need (PIN). Within this campaign around 2,000 children from 20 schools in 5 districts of Ulaanbaatar were trained on the importance of wearing masks.

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the most widely ratified human rights treaty. It creates an opportunity to speak about the children's rights as a consensual and non-political issue as well as to raise awareness that we all need to protect and promote children's rights and that those cannot be taken for granted. Mongolia was one of the first countries to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990.

Tina Puntsag, Communications and Advocacy Officer, People in Need (PIN) in Mongolia Tel: 976-70111501, email: tina.puntsag@peopleinneed.cz


Author: Tina Puntsag, Communications and Advocacy Officer