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UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

Equity Begins with Children

Cover Image
AUTHOR Jan Vandemoortele
TYPE Working Paper
DATE 2012
TOPIC Child poverty and disparities

While considerable progress is being made across the world in terms of human well-being, global statistics hide the fact that scores of people do not benefit from it much, if at all. Global progress has, by and large, by-passed those who are excluded, ignored, vulnerable, marginalised or dispossessed. As a result, the majority of countries are witnessing widening disparities; so much so that inequality has become the ugly underbelly of global prosperity. The evidence is quite compelling that more equal societies do better in terms of progress in health, education and nutrition than less equal ones.

This paper stresses the need for an ‘equity-mediated’ approach to human development. Equity is not only important for its intrinsic value but also for its instrumental worth. As long as the global discourse overlooks growing inequalities, human poverty is set to pervade and deepen. The equity-inducing effects of putting children first will be more effective and efficient in improving human well-being than to continue with the simple ‘growth-mediated’ strategy.

Equity Begins with Children Equity Begins with Children