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The state of the world's children 2012: Children in an urban world

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Publication Date: 
20 Apr 2012

Excerpts from the executive summary:

Key recommendations:

Increasing numbers of children are growing up in urban areas. They must be afforded the amenities and opportunities they need to realize their rights and potential. Urgent action must be taken to:

1. Better understand the scale and nature of poverty and exclusion affecting children in urban areas.
2. Identify and remove the barriers to inclusion.
3. Ensure that urban planning, infrastructure development, service delivery and broader efforts to
reduce poverty and inequality meet the particular needs and priorities of children.
4. Promote partnership between all levels of government and the urban poor - especially children
and young people.
5. Pool the resources and energies of international, national, municipal and community actors in
support of efforts to ensure that marginalized and impoverished children enjoy their full rights.
These actions are not goals but means to an end: fairer, more nurturing cities and societies for all
people - starting with children.



In Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, States parties recognize children's right to education and commit to "achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity." But urban inequalities undermine children's right to education. In urban areas blighted by poverty, ill health and poor nutrition, early childhood programming is often notable by its absence. This is lamentable because the first few years have a profound and enduring effect on the rest of a person's life. By one estimate, in developing countries, more than 200 million children under 5 years of age fail to reach their full cognitive potential.