Children in Latin America and the Caribbean

Addressing the rights of 193 million children and adolescents.

© UNICEF/UNI178927/Ramos

Progress has been uneven

Over the past two decades, the Latin America and the Caribbean region has made substantive progress in its economic and social development. This has positively influenced the well-being of millions of children and their families. Many more of the 193 million girls and boys can exercise their rights.

However, in many countries, progress has been uneven and there are still remain many disadvantaged and excluded girls and boys who continue to face barriers preventing them from accessing social services and protection.

Latin America and the Caribbean still one of the most unequal regions in the world.

By agreeing to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals and to other international and sub-regional commitments, as well as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Womenit is the responsibility of all to ensure universal access to such services. Governments at the national and sub-national level will need to continue strengthening the policies and programmes and ensure an equity focus. At the same time, civil society, media, opinion leaders and businesses, among others, need to take action to ensure that all children can exercise their rights.

Children and adolescents must be empowered to actively participate in policy formulation and decision making as well as in the implementation and monitoring of policies. Efforts must also be made to continue strengthening efforts in the collection of disaggregated data to make informed decisions and formulate and implement inclusive policies and programmes.

It is important to highlight a number of emerging trends and issues, including climate change, which may affect the well being of children even more in the future.

Through its programmes covering 36 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, UNICEF is working with all stakeholders to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for every child.

Situation of children in Latin America and the Caribbean in numbers