The Right To Well-Being And Development

Future career/professional expectations
UNICEF/HQ95-0397/ DAVID BARBOUR
Children in a primary school in Havana, Cuba.

Many future careers or professions were mentioned, with the highest being four of the more widely known professions - doctors (9%); engineers (7%) mentioned in greater percentages in Central America, the Caribbean and Andean countries; teachers (6%) and lawyers (5%).

No other careers received more than a 4% general response, although some became more significant within specific countries.

 

Personal expectations viewed relative to parents

Most are positive about their own quality of life, the majority (76%) thinking that that their quality of life will be better than that of their parents, 22% that it will be about the same and less than 2% that it will be worse.

Their expectations concerning the future prospects of their country were balanced, almost equally divided between their country becoming better (33%), about the same (34%) and becoming a worse place to live (33%). Those from the Southern Cone, Mexico and Brazil were more pessimistic, as were urban inhabitants, children from higher socio-economic status, of white/mixed blood, and who were adolescents.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• I think that in the future, my life, in relation to that of my parents, is going to be… (total) [view]
• My country, as a place to live, will be…(total) [view]
• My country, as a place to live, will be…(by country) [view]

 

Reasons given for positive expectations regarding their country

The 33% of the sample who were optimistic about their country gave a number of reasons:

  • 20% say that crime is being fought, a situation viewed as more relevant for children in Brazil (32%) and Mexico (24%), as well as for younger children in the region (24%).
  • 14% feel their country is becoming developed, a priority for those in Central America (52%), particularly Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. This is also important in Mexico (30%), especially in rural areas, among high socio-economic status, females, and adolescents.
  • 14% feel that existing problems in general are being solved, a view more frequently expressed in Andean countries.
  • Around 7% highlight the following reasons: improving education systems, more available jobs, and improvements in infrastructure.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• My country is becoming a better place to live because…(optimists) [view]

 

Reasons given for negative expectations regarding their country

The 33% of the sample who were pessimistic about their country gave a number of reasons:

  • 42% indicated that there is too much delinquency and violence, something mentioned significantly more often in Brazil (60%) and Andean countries (50%), particularly in Colombia (66%), Venezuela (48%) and Peru (41%). Across the segments, this reason is fairly homogenous, yet somewhat more expressed by females, and by blacks and white/mixed race children in contrast to indigenous respondents.
  • 26% of respondents attribute the decline to economic crisis/unemployment, notably in Brazil (38%) and the Southern Cone (32%), by children from higher socio-economic status families, females, and adolescents.
  • 17% indicate that the decline is due to the failure of the Government / politicians to deliver, with higher figures for Brazil (28%) and the Southern Cone (21%), especially in Argentina.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• My country is becoming a worse place to live because…(pessimists) [view]

 

Feelings of security in the place of residence
UNICEF/HQ95-0740/ ALEJANDRO BALAGUER
A good meal at a soup kitchen in a shanty town outside of Ayacucho, Peru.

Over 4 out of 10 children (43% representing about 43 million children) say they feel little or no security in the places where they live. Feelings of insecurity are greater among children living in urban areas, from lower income levels, female and blacks.

Higher figures were recorded in the Caribbean, Brazil and Southern Cone, with specific countries such as Nicaragua in Central America, Haiti in the Caribbean, Peru and Bolivia in the Andean region and Uruguay and Argentina in the Southern Cone standing out.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• The neighbourhood where I live is…(total) [view]

 

Firsthand experiences with robbery / violent assault

Nearly half of the children in Latin America and the Caribbean (47%) report having had a firsthand experience involving robbery, either because it happened to a close relative or friend (34%) or having been a victim themselves (14%). Personal experience of robbery is less frequent in Central America and the Caribbean. Reports were higher among urban area inhabitants (16%), males (18%), adolescents (17%), indigenous (17%) and those who perform paid work (18%).

In the cases of assault, almost a third (32%) report having had a close experience, either through friends or family (25%) or themselves (6%). Reports were greater among urban dwellers, high socio-economic status, males, adolescents, white/mixed race, child workers and for those living in Brazil, Mexico and Central America.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• Family member/friend/self victimised by robbery/assault…(total) [view]

 

Notions of an ideal country

Children and adolescents were asked about the characteristics which a country ought to have and where they would like to live:

  • More than 1 in 4 children (26%) indicated that it would be a country without "bad people" and delinquency.
  • A similar proportion (25%) believed that it ought to have a better economy and/or no poverty, two characteristics reported more frequently in the Southern Cone, Central America and Brazil.
  • A fifth (20%) indicated a country "where there is peace," with higher figures in Andean countries (50%).
  • Social equality (16%) was important, particularly to those in Brazil (27%).
  • The ideal society was one without drugs or alcoholism (10%) or pollution (10%).

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• The ideal country where I would like to live would be…(total) [view]

This information is provided as a contribution to discussion on important issues affecting children. UNICEF Regional offices conducted the polls, analysis and interpretations of the findings. For more information, please contact the regional poll contact person directly.

About the poll
Children's awareness of their rights
Physical, mental and spiritual health
Violence at home
Education
Access to information
Well-being and development
Participation