International Conference on Child Poverty and Social Protection takes off in Jakarta
Jakarta, 10 September 2013 – More than 100 national and international experts have come together in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta to discuss how to make social protection for children living in poverty more effective. The two-day conference on Child Poverty and Social Protection is co-organized by the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), UNICEF and the research institute SMERU.
Poverty reduction is the highest development priority of the Government of Indonesia, which aims to lower the poverty rate to 8-10 percent by 2014. Reaching this target will require social protection programmes that are more coordinated, and better targeted.
The participants which include representatives of the government, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers, will develop evidence-based recommendations on how to strengthen the various social protection programmes in Indonesia by making them more child-sensitive. These recommendations will be based on research done in Indonesia as well as on experience that will be shared by participants from other countries. The inputs from this international conference will support the Government of Indonesia on the design and implementation of key poverty and social protection programmes in the next Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2015-2019.
"This conference provides input for the preparation of the 2015-2019 RPJMN for the government, especially in providing information based on solid research about the problems of poverty, especially child poverty, something that is rarely discussed in the poverty eradication plan in macro. I hope this conference can provide input for the upcoming RPJMN so that children can be prioritized issue in the agenda of poverty eradication and social protection,” said Prof. Dr. Armida S. Alisjahbana, Minister for National Development Planning.
“Child poverty is not just about income. Children who grow up in poverty have less access to shelter, to clean water and sanitation, to health services, to education and to birth registration. Often they are also much more exposed to the risk of harm, abuse and exploitation. Reducing poverty is therefore absolutely critical to fulfilling children’s rights,” said UNICEF Indonesia Country Representative, Angela Kearney.
This is the third conference on children held in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia and SMERU. The conferences aim to bring research and evidence to the core of policy making in Indonesia, especially in relation to children.
This year, delegates from 15 countries will discuss and share lessons learned on processes that led to policy change to accelerate the reduction of child poverty throughout the region and beyond.
Experience in other countries has shown that social protection interventions such as cash transfers are very effective in reducing the impact of child poverty, particularly if they are designed in a way that they reach the poorest and the most vulnerable children. Then, social protection can be a safeguard for reducing disparities and ensuring that no child is left behind in achieving the MDGs.
UNICEF in collaboration with the Indonesian Government and partner agencies focus on social protection as an ideal strategy to tackle child poverty. Social protection has the potential to reach the poorest children / most vulnerable and to reduce inequalities and ensure that no child is left behind in achieving the MDGs.
Two keynote speakers, with extensive international experience in child poverty and social policy, Ms. Katja Hujo of Switzerland and Mr. Stephen Kidd from the UK will present the key facts and figures in this field, along with policies and international best practices, as well as offering a number of recommendations for the design of sensitive social protection for children.Representatives of government agencies including the National Development Planning Agency, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, the Ministry of Health, other government agencies such as TNP2K, BPS and research institutes under the Ministry of Social participate as a speaker at this conference, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations such as NGOs and international agencies.
Representatives of the governments of neighbor countries such as Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines as well as representatives of international organizations and research institutes from various countries such as India, Thailand, Myanmar, Georgia, Tanzania, the Netherlands, and the United States.
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