|Rubina, 11, looks up from her work, in a battery recycling factory in the Kamrangir Char area of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Rubina and her younger sister no longer attend school. They work in the factory all day with their mother to support the family.|
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By Rachel Bonham-Carter
NEW YORK, 22 April 2005 – UNICEF and New York’s New School University are bringing together scholars, policy thinkers and global experts for a conference entitled ‘Children and Poverty: Global Trends, Local Solutions’, from 25-27 April 2005.
During the three-day event, participants will discuss issues addressed in the State of the World’s Children 2005 report, with the aim of increasing knowledge and improving global policies on child poverty.
“Children are not seen as having a separate experience of poverty,” explains Elizabeth Gibbons, UNICEF’s Chief of Global Policy.
“For example, the measurement of poverty which the world has adopted for the Millennium Development Goals is an income measurement of $1-2 per day per person. For children, that’s really not a relevant measure. What children need to have their rights fulfilled are services in education and health. Even if there is money within the household, if there is no school nearby, the child is being deprived of his or her right.
“Secondly,” she continues, “an income measure for children is not appropriate because you can often have a child who has a lot of income because they’re working, but not in school. You can hardly say that child’s rights are being fulfilled.”
|Jessie, 4, and her sister, Aedess Chikwasa, 14, prepare ‘nsima’ – cooked maize – on a small fire for her mother and siblings, in the family’s cooking hut in a village near Lilongwe, Malawi.|
The conference begins with presentations on global trends and their social impact. This is designed to provide a broad context for the remainder of the conference. The first day closes with a panel that will debate issues relating to globalization, poverty and children.
The next two days will focus on how to implement effective policies for reducing child poverty, and how to fulfill the basic rights of children. Brief presentations by authors of the papers selected for the conference are followed by panel discussions, inviting participation from the audience.
The presenting authors were selected following an international call by UNICEF and the New School for papers on analytical and policy research on issues and trends related to children living in poverty. Authors were asked to examine the concepts and measurements of poverty, as well as the actions needed to secure a protective, harmonious and stimulating environment for empowering families.
The papers chosen for the conference fall into the following four categories:
20 April 2005:
UNICEF Chief of Global Policy Elizabeth Gibbons discusses the purpose of the international conference on ‘Children and Poverty: Global Trends, Local Solutions’.
UNICEF gathers world experts to discuss poverty and children