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Photo: Kurdish girl. Iraq, 1997. Copyright Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas
Photo: Kurdish girl. Iraq, 1997. Copyright Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas

This page is background information, last updated in May 2002 and still available for reference. For the latest on the Special Session on Children, please go to the Special Session index.

About the Special Session | Secretary-General's report | Convention on the Rights of the Child | World Summit for Children | Follow-up actions | Monitoring progress | End-decade review results | Global Movement for Children


About the Special Session

End-decade Review Process

Extensive end-decade review and reporting processes were established at national, regional and international levels. As of January 2002, 156 reports had been received from Governments and 15 reports from United Nations agencies and others. The number and high quality of the reports are encouraging indicators of the commitment of Member States and members of the United Nations system to the continued implementation of the Summit Plan of Action, and ensure the successful outcome of the special session on children.

UN agency reports:
NB: Fifteen reports were received from UN agencies and others. The 13 received in electronic form are posted here; the others will be posted when received in this form. Reports are in PDF format.

Committee on the Rights of the Child











World Bank




Top-level political commitment was seen in a number of national review processes by direct involvement of the offices of heads of State or Government. The reviews gained additional visibility through linkages with high-level regional events. Participants in the reviews included intersectoral government bodies, parliamentarians, national and international NGOs and Civil Society Organizations, religious groups, academic institutions, the media, United Nations agencies and donors. This helped ensure broad ownership of review findings and consensus on priorities for future action. Various efforts were also made to encourage participation by children, notably through children's and youth parliaments, forums and opinion polls. A number of countries extended the review to subnational levels through local surveys and consultations.

Wide range of data sources

A wide range of information sources were drawn upon, including qualitative and quantitative studies, assessments and surveys, and the results of other recent international reviews. Many countries made specific reference to the close links between the end-decade review process for the Summit and reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and other relevant United Nations human rights treaty monitoring bodies. One of the most encouraging aspects of many national reviews has been the extent to which they have gone beyond a retrospective analysis to set priorities for future policies on children. In a number of countries, this has involved preparations for, or even completion of, a new generation of National Programmes of Action for children.

As with the mid-decade review, a key input for the national reviews of progress at end-decade has been support for strengthened data collection and analysis. Drawing on the results of a 1997 evaluation of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, a revised set of indicators was developed by partners and included in new surveys in order to provide a broader base from which to measure progress. Additional indicators have been added to assess civil rights, the family environment and child exploitation, as well as the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness initiative, malaria and knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

In all, the end-decade second round of MICS - MICS2 - was designed to obtain data for 63 end-decade indicators. With UNICEF support, MICS2 was conducted in 66 countries, covering over half of the developing world's population, representing the largest single data collection effort in history for monitoring children's rights and well-being. Demographic and Health Surveys have been conducted in another 35 countries, while other special surveys have covered most of the remaining developing countries.

While many of the national end-decade review reports incorporated data from MICS2, much of this data had not been received by the time of preparation of the present report, which is based on earlier data received through annual monitoring processes and other sources. UNICEF is continuing to develop a set of global databases for the end-decade assessment which will provide, where possible, statistical information for the current situation, as well as information on progress over the decade for each of the end-decade indicators. These databases will cover cross-sectoral and/or trend data for more than 50 indicators. Some of the databases were placed on the Internet on an experimental basis in late 2000, and will be used in a statistical annex to be distributed at the special session of the General Assembly on children.

Access MICS and the statistics gathered during the end-decade process at Childinfo.org

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