ILO and UNICEF Report: Over a Billion Children at Risk

A recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF highlights a concerning trend of increasing numbers of children lacking access to social protection, leaving them vulnerable to poverty, hunger, and discrimination. The study reveals that between 2016 and 2020, an additional 50 million children aged 0-15 missed out on critical social protection, bringing the global total to 1.46 billion. As governments worldwide grapple with the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need to strengthen, expand, and invest in universal social protection for children, helping to alleviate poverty, support education, and promote sustainable development.

The following key points underscore the severity of the situation and emphasize the need for action:

  • 50 million more children aged 0-15 missed out on critical social protection between 2016 and 2020, totaling 1.46 billion globally.
  • The report recommends adequate investment in universal social protection for children, ideally through universal child benefits.
  • Child and family benefit coverage rates fell or stagnated in every region between 2016 and 2020.
  • Lack of social protection leaves children vulnerable to poverty, disease, missed education, poor nutrition, child marriage, and child labor.
  • Children are twice as likely as adults to live in extreme poverty (356 million children).
  • 1 billion children live in multidimensional poverty, which increased by 15% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Nearly every government adapted or introduced social protection programs during the pandemic, but most didn’t make permanent reforms.
  • The report highlighted an urgent need to strengthen, expand, and invest in child-friendly and shock-responsive social protection systems.
  • Countries must choose between investing in social protection systems or leaving millions of children behind.

Read the full report: More than a billion reasons: The urgent need to build universal social protection for children

(This post summarizes the linked pdf and was primarily generated by ChatGPT. It was grammar-checked using Grammarly, edited, expanded, and validated by a real human. The image was generated by Midjourney using the prompt: “trafficking of children in the United States of America” )

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