UNICEF addresses the launch of the 2018 Child Gauge on World Children’s Day

This year’s Gauge focuses on children at the interface of families and the state.

Sudeshan Reddy
2018-Child-Gauge-launch
UNICEF South Africa/2018/Reddy
20 November 2018

Johannesburg - “How do we achieve good collaboration between families and the state so that children develop well and no child is left behind?” This was the key question posed to a panel that was invited to address the launch of the 2018 Child Gauge which, significantly, was held on World Children’s Day at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Among the panelists addressing the launch was the UNICEF Country Representative, Sanjay Wijesekera, who noted that “this report is an example of best practice globally and UNICEF is proud to be regularly requested to share it with our colleagues and offices around the world.”

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UNICEF South Africa/2018/Reddy
UNICEF South Africa Representative Sanjay Wijeskera (L) with his fellow panelists at the launch of the 2018 Child Gauge at the University of the Witwatersrand.

This annual review of the situation of the country’s children is published by the Children’s Institute at University of Cape Town, in partnership with several other organisations, including UNICEF. This widely-read publication has for the past 13 years provided an annual means to monitor progress towards realising children’s rights.

This year’s Gauge focuses on children at the interface of families and the state. It looks at areas of effective collaboration as well as contestation or tension between families and the state, such as where families fail to nurture children in ways that the state requires, or when the state does not fulfil its obligation to provide an enabling environment in which to do so. While families have increased access to services in the post-apartheid era, the 2018 Child Gauge urges government to focus attention on improving the capacity and quality of responsive services to families.

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UNICEF South Africa/2018/Reddy
UNICEF South Africa Communication Specialist Sudeshan Reddy (centre) hosting the UNICEF information table at the launch of the 2018 Child Gauge at the University of the Witwatersrand.

UNICEF supported the generation of some of the content of the report and also provided information materials and a display table of publications for the over 200 child rights practitioners from across society who were in attendance.

World Children’s Day 2018 provided a fitting and timely backdrop for the launch of a publication which makes a meaningful difference to assessing the progress and the challenges that face children in South Africa.