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


Moving forward

Children in an urban world

© UNICEFNYHQ2011-1405Warrick Page

As the number of children living in urban areas increase year after year, the following urgent action is required to promote their development and secure their rights.

Children first

As the well-being of the child is affected, to a large extent, by the surrounding environment, it is crucial that the needs and priorities of children be incorporated into efforts to improve housing, infrastructure, safety and governance.

Partnerships with urban poor

Local authorities and communities will need to coordinate efforts so that limited resources are used most efficiently and equitably. One of the best examples of a child-focused programme is the international Child-Friendly Cities Initiative,that places child rights on the urban agenda.

Improve understanding of the scale and nature of urban poverty and exclusion affecting children

Data collection must be more precise to reflect disparities in children's situations and help determine the most marginalised families and children. In turn, information must be disseminated widely to enable effective responses to inequality and exclusion. India is one of the countries where such initiatives are currently taking place.

Widen educational opportunities

Educational options should also be made available to children who speak a different language, lack official registration or have had their schooling interrupted. In addition, to support the impact of education, creating career opportunities for youth in urban areas as well as tailoring training to match available vacancies must be a priority.

Tackling urban violence and exploitation

Efforts are being made to tackle violence across urban areas around the globe. A recent initiative is the Safe and Friendly Cities for All, a joint effort of UN Habitat, UN Women and UNICEF that works through participation.





State of the World's Children Report 2012

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