State of the World's Children


2013: Children with Disabilities

2012 : Children in an urban world

2011: Adolescence

Special: Child rights

2009: Maternal + newborn health

2008: Child survival

2007: Gender equality


Children’s rights

Children in an urban world

© UNICEFNYHQ1993-0328Roger LeMoyne

Children living in urban settings have access to the full range of civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights recognised by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international instruments. However, these rights are not realised equally.

Health and nutrition:

The number of poor and undernourished is increasing faster in urban than in rural areas. Children are at increased risk of death, blindness, stunting and lower IQ. Poor nutrition contributes to more than a third of under-five deaths globally.

Water, sanitation and hygiene

Unsafe water, poor sanitation and unhygienic conditions claim many lives each year, including an estimated 1.2 million children under the age of 5 who die from diarrhoea. In addition, water and sanitation coverage is struggling to keep pace with urban population growth.


In urban areas blighted by poverty, ill health and poor nutrition, early childhood education is often lacking. Inequalities begin from primary education onwards, despite the provision of universal primary education in many countries.

Child protection

There are many aspects of child protection to consider but it begins with birth registration. Over a third of births are not registered and figures are higher in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, children in an urban setting also have to deal with issues of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. ¹


SOWC 2012 Pages 3 - 6





State of the World's Children Report 2012

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