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Kiribati Launches Child Poverty Report as part of CRC and UCD celebrations

TARAWA, 24 November 2014 – A report commissioned by UNICEF and the Government of Kiribati was launched last Thursday as part of the celebrations for 25 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Universal Children’s Day (UCD).

The report titled ‘Child Poverty and Hardship in Kiribati’ was undertaken with a particular purpose of finding how children in Kiribati were affected by issues of poverty and hardship.

UNICEF Kiribati Chief of Field Office, Ms. Nuzhat Shahzadi said “At 42%, children represent almost half of the entire i-Kiribati population. Therefore their well-being is central to the well-being of the nation. They are deprived of many basic fundamental Rights. We must Unite for Children.”

She added that “Although significant changes have been made since the adoption of the CRC 25 years ago such as the decrease in child mortality by 36% between 1990 and 2012 (from 94 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 60 in 2012) and in education, primary school attendance rate is well above 90%, there is still much to be done.”

“There are high levels of violence against children and women, child malnutrition is a serious concern with nearly 15 percent of i-Kiribati children under age five are underweight and significant gaps in immunisation rates. For example, only 29% of one-year olds received all basic vaccinations and 8% of one-year olds received no vaccinations at all (according to the latest DHS survey in 2009),” she said.

While congratulating the government, non-government partners, community leaders and children, Ms Shahzadi implored  the health and education sector to implement programmes and policies efficiently so that child malnutrition is reduced. She also raised the issue of strengthening capacity of systems for the protection of children to address the high levels of violence and abuse of children and women at home, in school and in their communities. 

“I would like to congratulate the Government of Kiribati for providing leadership in promoting community led total sanitation which has a positive impact on the health and well being of children and their families, and for the high birth registration rates. I further encourage the Government to explore and discuss the establishment of additional social protection programmes for children and families who experience hardships. Such programmes could complement and consolidate government’s current investments in child health and education,” she said.

Apart from the launch, there was a hive of activity with singing, dancing with active participation of girls and boys, display booths, child protection related activities and hand washing demonstrations.

About UNICEF: 

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For further information, please contact:

Donna Hoerder, Tel: +679 3236 100





Child Poverty and Hardship in Kiribati



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