UNICEF’s latest data show improvements in the situation of children, but disparities remain
Bangkok, 30 January 2014 – Declaring that 'every child counts', UNICEF today urged greater effort and innovation to identify and address the gaps that prevent the most disadvantaged of the world's 2.2 billion children from enjoying their rights.
The children's agency, in a report released today, highlights the importance of data in making progress for children and exposing the unequal access to services and protections that mars the lives of so many.
In East Asia and the Pacific, under-five mortality has fallen by 65 percent since 1990. This is the joint highest rate of progress globally, tied with Latin America and the Caribbean. The country with the highest rate of child mortality in this region is Lao PDR, while Japan and Singapore have the joint lowest rate.
“There has been good overall progress in this region, but disparities persist both between and within countries,” UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific Dr Isiye Ndombi said. “The new disaggregated data in this report will help UNICEF and national governments to refocus their efforts on the most vulnerable children.”
Tremendous progress has been made since the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was signed in 1989 and in the run up to the culmination of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. UNICEF's flagship report, The State of the World's Children 2014 in Numbers shows that:
Even so, the statistics in the report, titled ‘Every Child Counts: Revealing disparities, advancing children's rights’, also bear witness to ongoing violations of children's rights:
Despite having the highest under-five mortality rate in East Asia and the Pacific, Lao PDR also has the greatest rate of progress – a 72 percent reduction in child mortality. The Lao Social Indicator Survey 2011-12 provided data which, for the first time, enabled the government analyse the situation of women and children at the provincial level. The survey clearly showed wide disparities determined by geography, ethno-linguistic group, and wealth.
This data was used by UNICEF, the Lao PDR Government, and partners to update the situation of children and their families and measure progress towards the MDGs. UNICEF is using this data to shape its advocacy and programme response. For example, UNICEF’s analysis of the nutrition data showed the need for increased attention to breastfeeding and to counter the trend of using breast milk substitutes. It also showed the need for greater attention to the linkages between nutrition and open defecation.
Broadcasters: A video news story is available at: weshare.unicef.org/mediaresources
To read The State of the World’s Children 2014 In Numbers: Every Child Counts - Revealing disparities, advancing children’s rights and to see additional multimedia material, please visit: www.unicef.org/sowc2014/numbers
For information on MICS, please visit www.childinfo.org/mics.html
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Andrew Brown, UNICEF Bangkok, Tel: +66 (0)2 356 9407 / Mobile +66 (0)843 347 506; firstname.lastname@example.org