Social protection is essential in preventing and reducing poverty for children and families, in addressing inequalities and in realizing children’s rights. Despite recent progress in many parts of the world, too many children live in poverty and are deprived of their most elementary rights. In, fact, in most parts of the world, children and families with children are at greater risk of poverty than other groups of the population, with respect to both monetary and other forms of poverty.
The consequences of poverty are very significant for children. Children experience poverty differently from adults; they have specific and different needs. While an adult may fall into poverty temporarily, a child who falls into poverty may be poor for a lifetime – rarely does a child get a second chance at an education or a healthy start in life. Even short periods of food deprivation can be detrimental to children’s long-term development. If children do not receive adequate nutrition, they lag behind their peers in size and intellectual capacity, are more vulnerable to life-threatening diseases, perform less well in school, and ultimately are less likely to be productive adults. Child poverty threatens not only the individual child, but is likely to be passed on to future generations, entrenching and even exacerbating inequality in society. Many of the 18,000 children under the age of five who die every day, mainly from preventable causes, could be saved through adequate social protection. Where children are deprived of a decent standard of living, access to quality health care, education and care, and where they suffer from social exclusion, their future is compromised. Where children are forced to engage in child labour, such exploitation takes a heavy toll on their physical and cognitive development, and on their future life chances. Child poverty affects not only the well-being and aspirations of individual children, but also the wider communities, societies and economies in which they live.
Photo credit: “The Human Side of the Nepal Crisis | Le côté humain de la crise au Népal” by DFTAD|MAECD (CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).
Challenging Assumptions: From child-focused to child-sensitive social protection
Few people would disagree that children need protection and support, and that they should receive priority in policy interventions, including social protection. These beliefs are underpinned by the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which has been ratified by 192 of 195 of the world’s countries. In the past decade, social protection […]
Using Human Rights in the Courts to Broaden Social Protection—The South African Example
Human rights have an important role to play in supporting the objectives of social protection which include the prevention of poverty and inequality, ensuring solidarity and inclusion, and creating economically and socially fairer societies. They offer a normative basis and a legal imperative for requiring that states realize the right to social security for their […]
Decreto 839 – Ley de Protección Integral de la Niñez y Adolescencia
Este Decreto establece la protección de la niñez y adolescencia. Es el deber del Estado, como a los padres y madres, adoptar todas las medidas necesarias para proteger a la familia (art. 7). En principio de corresponsabilidad, la garantía de los derechos de las niñas, niños y adolescentes corresponde a la familia, al Estado y […]
El objetivo de la presente Ley es fomentar la nutrición segura y suficiente para los lactantes, mediante la educación de la familia y la protección de la lactancia materna. Para ello se dará el apoyo específico a los programas y las actividades que la promuevan y se regulará la publicidad y la distribución de los […]
Ley 3460 de fomento a la lactancia materna
La Ley tiene como objetivo contribuir al bienestar físico, mental y social de la madre y su hijo (a), mediante la promoción, apoyo, fomento y protección de la lactancia natural y la regulación de la comercialización de sucedáneos de la leche materna y otros productos relacionados.
Child Care Board Act
Chapter 381 of the Child Care Board Act of Barbados makes better provision for the care and protection of children.
Childcare and Protection Act 29 (Antigua and Barbuda)
An act to provide for the establishment and functions of a Childcare and Protection Agency, the licensing of childcare facilities, the maintenance of appropriate standards in respect of their operations and for other matters relating to the safety, care and protection of children.
Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)
Recommendation No. 202 is the first international instrument to offer guidance to countries to close social security gaps and progressively achieve universal protection through the establishment and maintenance of comprehensive social security systems. To this aim, the Recommendation calls for (1) the implementation, as a priority, of social protection floors (SPF) as a fundamental element […]
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989
Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 26 recognizes for every child the right to benefit from social security, including social insurance. In addition, Article 27(1) recognizes the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development. Under Article 27(2) and (3), States […]
Child Labour in Mauritania
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child considered a communication concerning child slavery and held Mauritania accountable for multiple violations of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The Committee is an African Union body set up to protect children’s rights across the region. Said […]
The Right of Children with HIV to Privacy in Kenya
Summary: This case concerns a directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta ordering the collection of data and the preparation of a report pertaining to school-going children, guardians, and expectant and breastfeeding mothers living with HIV. The High Court of Kenya at Nairobi found this action to be in violation of the rights to privacy and […]
Children’s welfare in Senegal
This case addresses the plight of as many as 100,000 children (known as talibés), who while attending Qur’anicschools (daaras) in Senegal, are forced by some instructors to beg in the streets, to secure their own survival and enrich the teachers. The children live away from their families, often in deplorable conditions, and are exposed to […]
Women and children’s social and economic rights (including health) in Uganda
Nature of the Case The case was brought on behalf of a pregnant woman who died in a hospital while awaiting obstetric care. It considers whether the hospital failed to provide appropriate obstetric care and management, thereby violating her rights as well as those of her surviving children. Summary On May 5, 2011, Irene Nanteza […]
Equal access to health and family planning information for all women in Hungary
The communication was filed with regards to the alleged forced sterilization of an ethnic Roma woman by medical staff pursuant to an emergency caesarian section that was required to remove a deceased fetus. The Committee found that previous medical care, the poor medical condition of the victim, A.S., upon arrival at the hospital, short time […]
Coherent Constitutions and the Right to Social Protection for Adopted Children in Taiwan
The Judicial Yuan, a body responsible for interpreting the Constitution, examined the constitutionality of provisions in the Statute for Labor Insurance preventing children adopted within less than six months of the death of their adoptive parents from collecting social insurance benefits as survivors. The Court held that despite the intentions of the provision to prevent […]
Towards the Urgent Elimination of Hazardous Child Labour
This report brings together and assesses new research on hazardous child labour, following the ILO’s last report on this subject in 2011. The report demonstrates that we have extensive experience and an ample evidence base to assist us in tackling hazardous child labour.
Child Vulnerability and Social Protection in Kenya
The definition of child vulnerability used in Kenya’s social protection sector was shaped in the early 2000s, when policymakers noted an increasing number of orphans as a consequence of the AIDS pandemic and developed the National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). Kenya’s Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC) was […]
Girls’ Rights Platform
Plan International has developed the Girls’ Rights Platform to help NGOs, young activists, diplomats, UN agencies, and academia bring girls from the margins to the centre of the international agenda. This platform offers a number of innovative tools, including the world’s most comprehensive human rights database, training tools for girls’ rights advocates, and a UN […]
Global Goals for Every Child: progress and disparities among children in South Africa.
This report presents an analysis of progress and disparities among children in South Africa. Data show significant progress during the past two decades in areas such as child poverty, child survival, mother to-child transmission of HIV and primary school attendance, among others. These are impressive achievements, but they are only part of the story. Stark […]
Children of Austerity: impact of the great recession on child poverty in rich countries
The 2008 financial crisis triggered the worst global recession since the Great Depression. Many OECD countries responded to the crisis by reducing social spending. Through 11 diverse country case studies (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States), this volume describes the evolution of child poverty and material […]