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MICS4 findings for new child rights agenda

MINSK, 21 June 2013 – The outcome report of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4 (MICS4) provides the latest evidence-based data on the situation of children and women in the Republic of Belarus. While recognizing progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals, report defines social development priorities and calls for continued investment in young generation. In the Republic of Belarus the survey was conducted by the National Statistical Committee in partnership with UNICEF.

On June 20, 2013 the Government of the Republic of Belarus and UNICEF launched the results of MICS4, the most comprehensive survey on the situation of children and women. The survey responded to the country’s need for reliable data to measure progress in implementing the national targets for children and monitor progress towards achieving the global commitments. Launch of the MICS4 has been followed by the high-level specialized conference conducted in Minsk by the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus in partnership with the sectoral ministries, NGOs, academia, UNICEF and other UN agencies. The conference was mounted by Mr. Anatoly Tozik, Deputy Prime-Minister, Mr. Vladimir Zinovsky, Chairman of the National Statistical Committee, and Mr. Yuri Oksamitniy, UNICEF Representative.

In his opening speech UNICEF Representative noted: ‘MICS data are indispensable in assessing social progress and outlining challenges. Sure that MICS data and in-depth analysis will be of importance to the Government in further defining priorities, rendering informed decisions and targeting budgetary resources for the best interest of a child. UNICEF will continue its cooperation in priority areas related to protection and well-being of children, implementation of national programmes for children’s rights.’

Deputy Prime-Minister Mr. Anatoly Tozik showed appreciation to UNICEF and expressed hope for further cooperation. He highlighted: ‘Quite a lot has been done. Now we have objective context on situation of children and women, especially on under-investigated issues of domestic violence, family education and satisfaction and happiness of young people. Value of the survey lies not only in newly received statistical data, but in monitoring of public opinion and social norms. It is very useful for the government to get feedback from citizens to improve national social policies. Now it is of vital importance to effectively use MICS4 data within the context of effective national policies and strategies on demographic security, gender equality, and child and mother welfare.’

Chairman of the National Statistical Committee Mr. Vladimir Zinovsky praised teamwork and synergism of all parties involved in MICS4 process at the international, national and regional levels. Moreover, this survey provides added value to Belarus statistical data as comparable and valid at the global level. In respect with MICS4 findings, he marked that focus attention is highly required to violence against children issues.

Along with, the audience heard the status reports from Ministries of Education, Health, Labour and Social Protection as well as thematic presentation on HIV&AIDS epidemic trends in Belarus.

This launch of the MICS4 results targets users of statistical information: state government bodies, scientific and educational institutions, non-governmental and international organizations, and mass media.

In the Republic of Belarus MICS4 was conducted by the National Statistical Committee in partnership with UNICEF. UNICEF provided technical support to ensure the highest quality survey results, including the development of the methodology that enabled a deeper understanding of children’s priorities across the country.

The main objectives of the 2012 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey on the Situation of Women and Children in the Republic of Belarus were as follows:

  • To review and assess new indicators describing the situation of women and children in Belarus, monitor progress towards implementing the Millennium Development Goals and the objectives postulated in the Declaration and Action Plan “A World Fit for Children”, and to inform future actions on these objectives;
  • To inform planning and evaluation by the Government of social programmes on women, children and youth at the national and regional levels, and to facilitate the efforts to identify and reach out to the most needy and vulnerable populations;
  • To improve the national monitoring systems, enhance professional skills among experts engaged in the development, evaluation and implementation of progress for children’s rights and well-being;
  •  To create an information resource to ensure international comparability of the data.

20,398 people were interviewed in 8,284 households: 9,549 men and 10,849 women. Questionnaires for children under five were completed for 3,443 children (1,771 for boys and 1,672 for girls).

The data obtained through the survey covers the most relevant aspects of children’s lives, such as nutrition, health, prevalence of child labour, disciplining methods in the family, and early child development. The MICS4 survey also includes a range of new data on women’s reproductive behaviour, attitude of men and women toward domestic violence, young people’s sexual behaviour, tobacco and alcohol use among teenagers and youth, access to media, general life satisfaction, and other matters of relevance to Belarus.

Key points from the MICS4 data for Belarus:

53% of woman began infant’s breastfeeding within the first hour of birth

26.3% of children were not breastfed within the first day of birth

19% of children under 6 months were exclusively breastfed

95% of households know about the advantages of iodized salt consumption

39.2% of households report always using iodized salt for cooking

14.7% of mothers/caretakers of children under 5 years knew two danger signs of pneumonia (fast or difficult breathing)

99.6% of population use improved drinking water sources

98.4% of population lives in the households with improved hygienic and sanitary facilities

56% of children age 0-2 years live in households using safe disposal of child’s faeces

22.3% of women married or in union use male condom as the most common contraceptive method

99.7% of women were seen at least 4 times by skilled medical personnel during pregnancy

4% of children under 5 were left with inadequate care

64.5% of children age 2-14 years experienced, at least, one form of psychological pressure or physical punishment from their parents or other adults

22.1% of children live in single-parent families and 2% of children live with neither of their biological parents

38.6% of young women and 68.6% of young men had sex with non-regular partners

51.8% of women and 84.2% of men of 15-49 years age reported to have ever used a tobacco product

95.5% of women and 90.2% of men reported that they were very or somewhat happy



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