Healthy Environments for Children Alliance

Healthy Environments for Children Alliance listserv

The Healthy Environments for Children Alliance listserv (HECANET) is an international mailing list dedicated to promoting healthy environments for children. The list provides updates on the activities of the Healthy Environments for Children Alliance (HECA), advocacy tools and information resources, relevant meeting announcements, and reports on technical research and monitoring related to environmental risks to children's health.


  • HECA Framework for Action
  • HEC at the Annual Conference on Health Promotion in Thailand
  • Earth Day Network "Water for Life" Campaign
  • OECD Workshop on the Valuation of Environmental Health Risks for Children
  • "WASH in Schools"
  • Training Workshop on Children's Environmental Health in Argentina
  • World Habitat Day 2003 - Water and Sanitation for Cities

HECA Framework for Action

Marking the culmination--to date--of the alliance-building process, the new HECA Framework for Action sets out the initial activities and expected achievements of the Healthy Environments for Children Alliance. The document was drafted at the 9-10 June 2003 meeting of the Alliance-building Task Force in Washington, D.C. This meeting provided a platform to agree on a common vision for the Alliance and to establish a foundation for advancing work in the near-term. Those taking part included representatives of national governments, agencies and organizations of the United Nations system, intergovernmental bodies, non-governmental organizations, as well as representatives of the WHO Regional Offices and Headquarters. It was agreed that the HECA Framework for Action will be widely disseminated and used on an interim basis by alliance members over the next twelve months, following which it will be subject to review and revision. More information:

HEC at the Annual Conference on Health Promotion in Thailand

"Healthy Environments for Children" was the theme of this year's Annual Conference on Health Promotion in Thailand, held 26-29 August in Bangkok. Gathering more than 500 participants from throughout the country, the conference commenced with an awards ceremony, presided over by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Health, where a number of schools were honoured as "Good Practice Models for Healthy Environments in Health-Promoting Schools". This was followed by a panel presentation by the Director-General of the Department of Health and, subsequently, presentations on environmental risks to children's health by technical experts from the World Health Organization. Among the issues highlighted by WHO speakers were the importance of health promotion and how to promote healthy environments for children. Reference was made to the special susceptibility of children, how to create national movements for healthy environments for children (HEC), WHO activities relating to environmental risks to children's health, preparations for the session on children and chemicals for IFCS Forum IV, and an update on the alliance-building process of HECA. A special session, entitled "Children's Voices on Healthy Environments", allowed for children ages 6 to 14 to share their views of key environmental concerns and health, as well as interview conference participants and authorities, discuss activities, and propose solutions.

Earth Day Network "Water for Life" Campaign

Earth Day Network has recently launched a two-year "Water for Life" campaign that will bring global attention to the world's water crisis and provide practical ways for individuals, communities and corporations to improve access to healthy water worldwide. One component of this campaign is "The World's Thirstiest Children". Earth Day Network is partnering with UNICEF and a number of NGOs on this project and highlighting case studies from 10 of the world's water "hot-spots" to raise awareness of a spectrum of water issues. The public awareness campaign will happen on a number of fronts and will be directly attached to solution-based activities. In each of the water "hot spots", a child's story will be highlighted to show the water issues. The story is then connected with identifiable solutions, either through individuals, the community itself, or with national, regional and international support. Each case study will raise awareness but then also inspire action. The action might involve support for a NGO working in the community or it might involve local legislative and community action. More information:

OECD Workshop on the Valuation of Environmental Health Risks for Children

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has undertaken a research project on the valuation of environmental health risks to children to help policy-makers identify health and safety risks that largely affect children, and to develop guidelines for the valuation of children’s environmental health risks. To this end, an international workshop on children's environmental health valuation was organised at the OECD on 11-12 September. The objective of this workshop was to share information amongst experts and policy-makers who work on economic valuation, environment and health economics, and other related disciplinary fields. The workshop reviewed the state of knowledge, assessed the different approaches and the needs for further research and action, and shared information on the current practices for the valuation of health risks in different countries. More information:

"WASH in Schools"

"WASH in Schools" is a new advocacy, communications, and implementation campaign designed to ensure that schools have water security, adequate hygiene and sanitation, and separate sanitary facilities for boys and girls. Launched by UNICEF and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) at the 3rd World Water Forum in Japan in March 2003, WASH in Schools activities are advancing rapidly. Activities include, among others, the launch of WASH in Schools in ten countries by WSSCC, awareness/linkage building using the WASH Caravan, and a high-profile launch in the WSSCC Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Simultaneously, UNICEF Country Offices, in association with national ministries and other entities, are implementing WASH in Schools pilot projects, developing and adopting programmatic guidelines and standards for school sanitation and hygiene promotion programmes, building latrines, and designing models for hygiene education and resource materials, among other activities. For more information on WASH in Schools, see:

Training Workshop on Children's Environmental Health in Argentina

As a pre-congress activity for the 33rd Congress of Pediatrics, the First International Training Workshop on Children's Environmental Health will be held on 1 October 2003 in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The goal of the training is to promote the recognition, assessment and study of the environmental factors that affect children's health and development and to promote the prevention of exposure. This training is oriented towards pediatricians, nurses, health administrators, and primary health-care workers. It will include a special meeting on children's environmental health (CEH) with the presidents of the Societies of Pediatrics of Argentina, Uruguay, Bolvia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, and Paraguay in order to plan and implement regional training events of CEH. The training has been organized by the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE); the International Network on Children's Health, Environment, and Safety (INCHES) through their Argentine member organization, the Argentinian Society of Doctors for the Environment (AAMMA); WHO; and Argentinian Society of Pediatrics (SAP). More information:

World Habitat Day 2003 - Water and Sanitation for Cities

Slums without clean water, proper sanitation and basic services can be amongst the most health-threatening environments on earth, especially for children. The idea behind World Habitat Day is to remind governments, municipalities and the public about the urgency of striving to improve human settlements. This year's World Habitat Day focuses on water and sanitation for cities, highlighting the world’s urban water and sanitation crisis. The main event will be held on 6 October in Rio de Janeiro, with additional events including an international water conference and the launch of the Water for Latin American and Caribbean Cities programme. For more information, see the UN-Habitat Web site: