ILO (International Labour Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) has released a report titled- “More than a billion reasons: The urgent need to build universal social protection for children”, which states that just 1 in 4 children are shielded by social protection, leaving others exposed to poverty, exclusion and multidimensional deprivations.
- 1.77 billion children aged 0-18 years lack access to a child or family cash benefit, a fundamental pillar of a social protection system.
- Children are twice as likely to live in extreme poverty as adults.
- Approximately 800 million children are subsisting below the poverty line of USD 3.20 a day, and 1 billion children are experiencing multidimensional poverty.
- Only 26.4% of children aged 0-15 years are shielded by social protection, leaving the remaining 73.6% exposed to poverty, exclusion and multidimensional deprivations.
- Globally, all 2.4 billion children need social protection to be healthy and happy.
- Child and family social protection coverage rates fell or stagnated in every region in the world between 2016 and 2020, leaving no country on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of achieving substantial social protection coverage by 2030.
- In Latin America and the Caribbean, coverage fell significantly from approximately 51% to 42 %.
- In many other regions, coverage has stalled and remains low.
- Multiple crises are likely to push more children into poverty, necessitating an immediate increase in social protection measures.
- The impacts of lack of social protection for children are both immediate and lifelong, heightening rights violations such as child labour and child marriage, and diminishing children’s aspirations and opportunities.