Child-directed advertising must be better regulated to curb adverse impacts – UN experts

UN News Centre

Just head of International Youth Day, two United Nations human rights experts are drawing attention to the impact of commercial advertising directed at young children that instils, at an early age, over-consumption and indebtedness, and have urged the Governments to redefine those child-directed advertisements.

“Such commercial messages have the potential to shape children’s long-term consumer and financial behaviour, and they are growing in number and reach,” Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, and Dainius Püras, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, said in a news release ahead of International Youth Day, which will be celebrated on Friday, 12 August.

Child-directed advertisements may cause unhealthy consumer behaviour that becomes ingrained at an early age. For example, children may over consume unhealthy foods that cause severe health consequences; they may also pressure their parents to purchase items that are neither budgeted nor educationally necessary, hence, making family private debt a serious problem.

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