UNICEF Says Children Left Behind Become Invisible

In 2012 UNICEF says roughly 18,000 children died each day from preventable causes. The organisation says that 31 million girls who should be in primary school were not attending classes in 2011 and an astonishing 230 million births had never been registered which deprives those children of services and protection.

These facts are often obscured by statistical average which point to an overall improving trend but tend to hide large inequalities within countries. The organisation says children left behind simply become invisible.

A new report released by UNICEF shows some striking inequalities. The world’s poorest children are nearly three times less likely to have a professional attendant present during birth. In Niger for example whilst 100 per cent of urban households have access to safe drinking water, only 39 per cent of rural households can make the same claim. In Tanzania just 4 per cent of the poorest children are registered at birth which compares to 56 per cent of the richest children.
Highlighting these inequalities enables people to understand just what kind of obstacles children face and makes it possible to design and monitor initiatives that seek to overcome them.

The reports argues that data is one of the most powerful tools that can be used to identify gaps, drive action, and influence decision makers in order to reach the most vulnerable children.

“Data do not, of themselves, change the world. They make change possible.”

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