If children are not placed at the centre of policies and plans it is all too easy for their basic human right to be denied. All children deserve an equitable chance to achieve their potential in life but too many are denied that chance.
Addressing the needs of migrant children and children ‘left behind’; those out of school (14 per cent in the region); children with disabilities and functional difficulties; pregnant teens and young mothers and children from single-parent households is paramount.
One in three of our children is living in poverty, this doubles when there are four or more siblings in a household. In Grenada and Barbados the stark figure rises to 70 per cent. Children are also significantly poorer than adults in the region: one in five of adults is living in poverty.
There is also a gender dimension to the issue. Across the region, children are more likely to be poor if living in a family headed by a female than one headed by a male.In fact, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in general is not given sufficient prominence in areas such as poverty alleviation, health and education.
Discriminatory laws, policies and cultural norms often hamper the life chances of girls in the eastern Caribbean