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UNICEF calls Turkmenistan to invest in more effective social protection for children

Children who are falling furthest behind in society benefit the most when countries invest in more effective social protection, according to a new UNICEF Regional Report launched today by UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan.   

The Social Monitor: Social Protection for Child Rights and Wellbeing in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia report consolidates recent evidence on trends and patterns of change in child poverty and the impact of social protection on children in 30 countries and territories in the region.

It highlights key challenges that the region faces in meeting the social protection needs of children and shares UNICEF recommendations on how to tackle them. Social protection for children includes cash assistance, subsidies for health or education services, counselling and social work, and parental leave.

The report found children are doing better in the region than 20 years ago but too many children are still living in poor households, deprived of basic necessities, excluded from services, communities and societies.

Key findings suggest that cash benefits in the region are increasingly reaching children and families who need them. However, too many children in need are still not covered, especially if they come from disadvantaged groups. Among the most vulnerable and discriminated are children with disabilities, children from ethnic and linguistic minorities, and children affected by migration. What children and families receive, in most countries and territories of the region, is not making a difference in their lives. Parents with low incomes or without a job do not get quality social support to help them deal with family conflicts or connect with available benefits and services, including training and employment opportunities.

Organized in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Turkmenistan, the launch of the Social Monitor was attended by UNICEF partner ministries, academia, diplomatic missions, developmental partners and media. The Parliament and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection shared their presentations on social protection system in Turkmenistan and legislature in the area of social protection of children.                                                                                           

“Making social protection work for children requires strong inter-sectoral partnership, financial investments and political will to improve the lives of children and families in need,” said Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan.

Key recommendations outlined in the report are:

·         Simplify application procedures to available cash assistance and social support.

·         Inform children and families about the social protection benefits and expand coverage for the most vulnerable.

·         Ensure that cash assistance is enough to make a difference for children.

·         Provide qualified social support to parents to cope with job loses or economic shocks.

·         Link different support services available so that vulnerable children get quality education, nutrition and health care, and live in a caring and protective family environment. 

·         Monitor and analyze if the support provided improves children’s lives.

·         Address discrimination towards families and children recipients of social protection through legislative changes, comprehensive awareness campaigns, and training of service providers.

To download the report:


For more information, please contact:

Ms. Alena Sialchonak

UNICEF Deputy Representative



Ms. Gulyalek Soltanova

UNICEF Communication Officer

Tel: +99312 425682 (ext.318)

Fax: +99312 420830







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