World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UNICEF Child Poverty On Rise In Wealthy Nations

UNICEF Child Poverty On The Rise In Wealthy Nations

NEW YORK, 1 March 2005 - The proportion of children living in poverty, or on less than $1 per day, has risen in most of the world’s developed countries since the early 1990’s, according to UNICEF’s latest report from the Innocenti Research Centre in Florence.

  • Download the full report here…
  • Video (high bandwidth)
  • Video (low bandwidth)
  • This publication is the sixth in the Innocenti Report Card series, which is designed to monitor the performance of industrialized countries in promoting the human rights of their children. It is also the first in a series of Innocenti reports on ‘Child Poverty in Rich Countries.’

    The report asks what is driving poverty rates upwards and why some Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries are doing a much better job than others in protecting children at risk.

    At the top of the child poverty league are Denmark and Finland with child poverty rates of less than 3 per cent, but Norway is the only OECD country where child poverty can be described as ‘very low and continuing to fall’. At the bottom are the United States and Mexico, with child poverty rates of more than 20 per cent.

    “The results are striking”, says UNICEF’s Senior Advisor on Global Policy, Gaspar Fajth. “It’s very clear that government expenditure and intervention is like a safety belt for children. We know this is the case in poor countries but this report also finds this to be the case in rich countries.”

    Child poverty does not mean the same in wealthy countries as in the developing world, where half of all children do not have access to basic health care or schooling. The figures refer to relative poverty, which is defined as having an income below 50 per cent of the national median. What they show is that 40 to 50 million children living in some of the world’s wealthiest countries, are growing up in poverty.

    “The core message of this report”, says Fajth, “is that no country, not even the richest countries of the world can reduce child poverty consistently and significantly without paying attention to the political process. No country, not even the richest countries, can reduce child poverty unless they define very clearly what they mean by child poverty. No country, not even the richest countries can achieve a considerable recduction to child poverty if they don’t give priority to children.”

    The report considers three main factors that have a crucial impact on child poverty: demographic & family factors; labour market factors including changes in parents’ earnings and employment; and government intervention. The results suggest there is significant potential for governments to reduce child poverty without spending more money. Countries in the middle ranges are shown to have different spending patterns, so it is not a question of how much money, but more a question of how it is spent.

    Fajth concludes that the report is not intended as a criticism of any country, but as a means for promoting dialogue on the subject. “The aim,” he says, “is for countries to learn from one another how to successfully reduce child poverty.”

    © Scoop Media

    World Headlines


    At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

    The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



    Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

    The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

    Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

    Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


    Other Australian Detention

    Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

    Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


    Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

    Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


    Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

    Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news