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Social Protection Strategic Framework

I. The Case for Social Protection and Children

Ensuring children's well-being and contributing to national development

© UNICEF/BANA2011-00454/Jannatul Mawa

To download Chapter I, please click here.

Investing in children and social protection is crucial from a human rights, as well as from a human and economic perspective. This chapter discusses some of the key arguments that support this approach - including children’s rights and vulnerabilities and impacts on equitable outcomes, intergenerational poverty and exclusion - while highlighting the heightened relevance of social protection in the current context.

As recognized by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, social protection systems need to be responsive to children’s rights and needs. This chapter discusses social protection as a crucial tool for strengthening the capacity of families to care for their children, and for removing barriers to service access – while reaching those who are most vulnerable.

Moreover, the impact of social protection on children’s development lasts long beyond childhood. As a critical component of existing efforts to break inter-generational cycles of poverty and exclusion, the chapter discusses social protection’s contribution to adult productivity and economic benefits to caregivers, households and, potentially, the economy at large.

This chapter underlines the increased relevance of social protection in the current context due to: persistent inequalities in economic and human development, increasing volatility at the macro and household level, greater threats posed to sustainable development by climate change, and changing population trends. It reviews social protection’s contribution to strengthening the resilience of children, families and communities in facing these trends, while maximizing the benefits from broader structural changes.

Key areas covered in this chapter:

• Increased relevance of social protection
• Child-sensitive social protection: Helping children realize their full potential
• Investing in children now, reaping long-term returns



Executive Summary


 Download in English, French

Evidence on the Impacts of Social Protection on Child Outcomes (Annex B)

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