11 February 2020, Geneva, Switzerland – UNITAR jointly with the International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Madrid (CIFAL Madrid), the Royal Automobile Club of Spain (Real Automóvil Club de España, RACE), and with the support of JOIE launched a three-year training initiative aimed at strengthening the capacity of government officials and road users to increase the proportion of motor vehicle occupants using standard child restraint systems.
Every three minutes a child dies in the world’s roads as a result of road traffic crashes, representing one of the main causes of death among children globally, especially in developing countries. In Latin America, approximately 20,000 children lose their lives every year. Research shows that child safety seats that are correctly installed reduce the risk of death for infants 0-4 years and the risk of injuries for children aged 5–9 years. Similarly, the use of seat-belts also reduce the risk of injury for older children aged 10–14 years.
At the Palais des Nations in Geneva, UNITAR, RACE and JOIE signed a three-year collaborative agreement that brings together the expertise and best practices from different partners to assist countries to advance Global Road Safety Performance Target 8: By 2030, increase the proportion of motor vehicle occupants using safety belts or standard child restraint systems to close to 100%.
As part of this collaboration, specialized trainings and simulations, face-to-face courses, online tools, and recommendations to improve policy and legislation that reduce road traffic fatalities and traffic injuries amongst children will be delivered. An important component of the training activities will be to enhance the capacities of first responders, including firefighters, rescuers, paramedics, and police officers on post-crash response elements such as emergency care and extrication techniques that apply to children at the scene of a crash. During the first semester of 2020, specialized trainings and simulations will take place in Mexico and in Ecuador.
During the partnership agreement signing ceremony, Mr. Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNITAR, commented that “One of the most effective measures to protect passengers from road traffic deaths and injuries is the use of child restraint systems and seat belts. Through this important alliance with JOIE, we will provide training not only to drivers and passengers, but also technical assistance to public officials and legislators on the implementation of comprehensive programs that promote the use of child restraint systems, in order to save the lives of the most vulnerable”.
In the same line, Mr. Carmelo Sanz de Barros, President of RACE and CIFAL Madrid highlighted “We welcome JOIE as a global partner of our Road Safety for Children Training Initiative to reduce and prevent child injuries due to road traffic collisions. Together, we aim to design and develop tools that contribute to improve the safety of our children”.
Mr. Jerry Ingraham, Global Chief Marketing Officer of JOIE, reiterated their commitment to child road safety “We are delighted to join forces with UNITAR, CIFAL Madrid and RACE as global partner. Child road safety is our passion and our goal, so this collaboration is perfect for us. UNITAR and its global network of training centres offer a unique opportunity to train governments and public safety professionals in relevant issues. We look forward to working together to make advance child safety".