UNICEF’s latest data reveal disparities, show need to innovate to advance children’s rights
As 25th anniversary of children’s rights convention approaches, vast progress made but reaching unreached children will require sharper focus on disparities, new report says
NEW YORK, 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.
“Data have made it possible to save and improve the lives of millions of children, especially the most deprived,” said Tessa Wardlaw, Chief of UNICEF’s Data and Analytics Section. “Further progress can only be made if we know which children are the most neglected, where girls and boys are out of school, where disease is rampant or where basic sanitation is lacking.”
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 in 2015. UNICEF's flagship report, The State of the World's Children 2014 in Numbers shows that:
The report urges increased investment in innovations that right the wrong of exclusion.
"Overcoming exclusion begins with inclusive data. To improve the reach, availability and reliability of data on the deprivations with which children and their families contend, the tools of collection and analysis are constantly being modified – and new ones are being developed. This will require sustained investment and commitment," the report says.
Much of what is known about the situations of children comes from household surveys, and in particular the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS). Designed and supported by UNICEF, MICS are conducted by national statistical authorities and provide disaggregated data on a range of topics affecting children's survival, development, rights and experience of life. To date, MICS surveys have been conducted in more than 100 countries. In the last round of MICS, interviews were completed in more than 650,000 households in 50 countries.
Thirty years have passed since The State of the World’s Children began to publish tables of standardized global and national statistics aimed at providing a detailed picture of children’s circumstances. With the release of an edition of the report dedicated to data, UNICEF is inviting decision-makers and the general public to access and use its statistics - at www.data.unicef.org - to drive positive change for children.
"Data do not, of themselves, change the world. They make change possible – by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, and gauging progress. What matters most is that decision-makers use the data to make positive change, and that the data are available for children and communities to use in holding duty-bearers to account,” the report said.
Broadcasters: A video news story is available at http://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: http://www.unicef.org/sowc2014/numbers
For information on MICS, please visit http://www.childinfo.org/mics.html
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Kate Donovan, UNICEF New York, Tel: + 1 212 326 7452 / Mobile: + 1 917 378 2128; firstname.lastname@example.org
Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF New York, Tel: + 1 212 326 7586 / Mobile: + 1 917 213 4034; email@example.com