Father’s Day was celebrated on June 17 in approximately 90 countries around the world. On this occasion, UNICEF recalls that fathers have a key role in child development. The love and protection offered by fathers along with nutrition aid are essential to the future of children.

“We must fully recognize the role that fathers play in giving children the best start in life and supporting them in fulfilling this mission. Dad is one of the best resources in child development

Research shows that when fathers establish an emotional bond with their babies from the start of their life, they can play a more active role in children’s development, have better mental health, self-esteem and long-term satisfaction.

Progress in the field of neuroscience emphasizes that when children spend their first years in life, especially the first 1000 days, in a beneficial and stimulating environment, their brains grow at optimal speed.

These neural connections determine the child’s cognitive ability, health and happiness, learning and thinking, the ability to cope with stress, and the ability to establish relationships. Good nutrition, protection, play and love in early childhood trigger these neural connections.

Father’s Day is an opportunity for UNICEF to renew its call for the removal of cultural and financial barriers that prevent fathers from spending time with their children at an early age.

According to a new UNICEF analysis, about two-thirds of children around the world under the age of one year, nearly 90 million, live in countries where the law does not entitle fathers to any paid paternity leave.

92 countries do not have national policies to provide new fathers paid free days to spend time with their newborn babies, including India and Nigeria, who have a high population of young children. In contrast, other countries with a large population of young children, including Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo, benefit from national paternity leave policies, although these rights are granted in the short term.