“ Imagine the faces and bright futures of our own children -- then support those the world has forgotten. Help dedicated groups and governments care for those children as if they were our own. As, in a real sense, they are” -Anthony Lake Executive Director, UNICEF
What are the main issues affecting children globally?
Children experience poverty as an environment that is damaging to their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual development (UNICEF).
Material Deprivation Sectoral Issues Hinder Emotional Development
By discriminating against their participation in society and inhibiting their potential, poverty is a measure not only of children’s suffering but also of their disempowerment (UNICEF).
Child poverty by region
The Life Cycle Approach
Tool for policy makers to address and assess dimension of poverty during the life cycle
Risks are not homogenously distributed along the life cycle, but are higher in different stages of life.
Strengths of the Life Cycle Approach
Important diagnostic tool with which to assess the status, trends, and scale of children and youth issues across ages, sectors, poverty status, and other dimensions.
It identifies age-specific vulnerabilities, risks and gaps.
It illustrates positive and negative intergenerational effects and linkages.
It facilitates co-targeting of interventions and the improving synergies across sectors and ages in meeting common goals.
It enables monitoring of the impact of interventions on specific children and youth outcomes over time.
If used globally, regionally, and sub regionally, it can provide countries with useful bench- mark information and identify outliers that deserve specific attention
Children: continuum of risk and protective factors Family and personal assets (Family cohesion, parental health, skills, jobs, Child health, ability, etc.) Family and child support measures A Universal family and child benefits and services B Specialized family support services C Substitute care services (adoption, foster care, residential, care) Mounting risks Support requirement A B C Low risk level Medium risk level High risk level Absence of parental care
Age Group: In utero and at birth
Vulnerabilities : In utero exposure to maternal infections, nutritional deficiencies, and environmental toxins, as well as poor care around the time of birth, may lead to severe and irreversible damage to the brain and other organs.
Current Data :
an estimated 358,000 maternal deaths occurred worldwide in 2008. This means that each day about one thousand women die worldwide because of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth . Developing countries account for 99% of the deaths. Two regions, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, accounted for 87% of global maternal deaths.
Situation of Children and the Life Cycle
Age Group: Early Childhood (0-5 years)
Vulnerabilities : Development of basic cognitive and social abilities occurs in the first few years of life.
Adverse factors—poor diets, infections, disease, lack of cognitive stimulation—can cause slow physical and intellectual growth.
In 2009, 8.1 million children across the world died before their fifth birthday
Since 1990 the global under-five mortality rate has fallen by a third – from 89 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 60 in 2009
There are an estimated 129 million underweight children in the developing world today, which translates into 23 per cent of children in developing countries; 10 per cent of the children in the developing world are severely underweight.
Age Group: School-age children (6–14 years).
Vulnerabilities: Family resource constraints, gender bias, and inadequate infrastructure and public services prevent school attendance and the provision of health services.
84% of primary-school-age children attend school . Only 55% of children of secondary school age attend secondary school. In Africa, less than 30% attend.
About 16% of all children 5-14 years old, is involved in child labor in developing countries. In the least developed countries, 30% of all children are engaged in child labor .
Age Group: Adolescence and youth (15–24 years)
Vulnerabilities: Youth lack opportunities to access and complete primary and secondary schooling; receive relevant non-formal education, including life, livelihood, and marketable skills; and access relevant health services and reproductive health information.
Current Data :
In 2008, around 430,000 (240,000-610,000) children were born with HIV, bringing to 2.1 million (1.2 million–2.9 million) the total number of children under 15 living with HIV. Almost 90 per cent of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Over 64 million women aged 20–24 years were married or in union before the age of 18.