Symposium on Child Poverty kicks off Child Protection Week 2007
UNICEF to chair panel on international experiences
Pretoria 25 May 2007… A two-day symposium aimed at reviewing existing child poverty reduction strategies and interventions and making recommendations to enhance current plans to reduce child poverty kicks off this year’s Child Protection Week. The symposium will be opened by the Minister of Social Development Dr. Zola Skweyiya at the Sandton Convention Centre, on Monday 28 May.
The meeting aims to put the growing issue of child poverty and vulnerability at the top of the South African development agenda and showcase the country’s resolve to fight the issue through a multi-sectoral response focusing on public, private sector and civil society partnerships to help ensure the social security of children.
In a total child population of 18 million, more than 7 million children have been pulled out of poverty by the social grants system and almost 400,000 are receiving foster care grants, according to the Department of Social Development. However, much remains to be done.
In 2004, using a poverty line figure of $2 per day, an Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) study found that 74.9 per cent of children were poor. With the lower poverty line figure of $1 per day, some 54.3 per cent of children were found to be “ultra poor”. Gauteng and the Western Cape were found to have relatively lower numbers of children living in poverty. The remaining provinces had more than 60 per cent of all children living in poverty, the study showed.
Amongst other themes, the symposium will feature a panel, chaired by UNICEF Deputy Country Representative Julianna Lindsey, entitled International Experiences in Dealing with Child Poverty. UNICEF Regional Policy Advisor Professor Sudhanshu Handa will present a paper titled International Comparative Analysis of Child Poverty Reduction Strategies, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The Government of South Africa is urging the public to wear a green ribbon during Child Protection Week to show their support for promotion of the rights of children.
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