The UNICEF report
A quick tour around their website produced this list of corporate 'partners', including such luminaries as BP Foundation (British Petroleum), ExxonMobil, GlaxoSmithKline, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft Corporation, Pfizer Inc., Siemens and many, many more.
We tend to assume, I think, that global, impartial-sounding organisations like the United Nations and the World Health Organisation (which was also involved in formulating the report), are above the interests of the murky world of international politics and finance, but of course this isn't the case at all. If all this report does is increase investment in forced education systems to the age of 19 and sanction governments' planned further incursions into peaceful family life then I think it can only damage children's genuine well-being.
"Work develops independence, self-reliance, resourcefulness. Work itself is a value, above a paycheck, above praise, above accomplishment. Work produces a spiritual reward unknown to the reinforcement schedules of behavioral psychologists like B.F. Skinner, but if you tackle it gladly, without resentment or avoidance, whether you’re digging a ditch or building a skyscraper, you’ll find the key to yourself in work. If the secular aversion to work is a thing to be rationalized as schools do, requiring only minimal effort from children, a horrifying problem is created for our entire society, one that thus far has proven incurable. I refer to the psychological, social, and spiritual anxieties that arise when people have no useful work to do. Phony work, no matter how well paid or praised, causes such great emotional distortions that the major efforts of our civilization will soon go into solving them, with no hint of any answer in sight.
"In the economy we have allowed to evolve, the real political dilemma everywhere is keeping people occupied. Jobs have to be invented by government agencies and corporations. Both employ millions and millions of people for which they have no real use.
"Young men and women during their brightest, most energetic years are kept from working or from being a part of the general society. This is done to keep them from aggravating this delicate work situation, either by working too eagerly, as kids are prone to do, or by inventing their own work, which could cause shocks throughout the economy. This violation of the injunction to work, which Western spirituality imposed, has backed us into a corner from which no authority has any idea how to extricate us. We cannot afford to let too many children really learn to work, as Amish children do, for fear they will discover its great secret: work isn’t a curse, but a salvation."
- from The Underground History of American Education, by John Taylor Gatto.
The children, after all, are not UNICEF's paymasters. To find the truth, follow the money.