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A world free from child poverty

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UNICEF & End Child Poverty Global Coalition
Publication Date: 
31 Dec 2016


While there is great diversity in the almost 200 countries in which children live, there is much about children and their childhoods that are universal: in almost every country in the world – richer countries and poorer – children are more likely to be living in poverty than adults, and everywhere their particular life stage makes them more vulnerable to its devastating effects. Most immediately, poverty in childhood can have lifelong consequences for children’s physical, cognitive and social development. While children themselves suffer the impacts of their poverty most severely and immediately, the harmful consequences for societies, economies and future generations can be felt nationally, regionally and even globally.

Key messages:

Child poverty is a universal problem with devastating impacts on children and societies.

For the firsttime,there is global goal (Sustainable Development Goal 1) to end extreme poverty, including for children, and halve the poverty of children by national definitions.

There are proven approaches and solutions to address child poverty.

This guide seeks to share experiences from across the world to support countries building national pathways to end child poverty. 

However, despite the urgency and the availability of proven approaches to both measure and respond to child poverty, children have received relatively little attention in the global struggle against poverty. The Sustainable Development Goals offer a tremendous opportunity to change this. Goal 1 on eradicating extreme poverty is crucial for children, and for the first time there is an explicit commitment that all countries measure child poverty and strengthen policies and programmes to meet the child poverty reduction goal by 2030 (see Box 1). Given the diversity of contexts in which children live, there is no simple universal approach to implement the SDGs on child poverty. Rather this guide aims to lay out approaches that have worked and build on global best practices to provide support and ideas in establishing child poverty as a national priority.

-reprinted from UNICEF