Governments urged to strengthen child social protection — Global Issues
Between 2016 and 2020, an additional 50 million boys and girls aged 15 and under are not entitled to child benefit, bringing the total to 1.46 billion globally.
Increased risk of difficulties
Child and family benefit insurance rates fall or stagnate in every region of the world during this time, according to the report.
For example, Latin America and the Caribbean saw a significant drop in coverage, from about 51% to 42%while the rate remains around 21% in Central and South Asia.
Failure to provide adequate social protection for children leaves them vulnerable to difficulties such as poverty, disease, poor nutrition and increased risk of child marriage, UN agencies warn.
They say that children are twice that of an adult living in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.9 a day – a reality for some 356 million young people worldwide.
Learning from the pandemic
Furthermore, one billion children live in “multidimensional poverty,” meaning they have no access to education, health care, housing, nutrition, sanitation, or water. Rank increased by 15 percent in time COVID-19 pandemic, reversing the progress of child poverty reduction.
According to the report, the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of social protection in times of crisis.
While nearly every government expands existing programs or introduces new measures to support children and families, most fail to do so. permanent reform to guard against future shocks.
Expand and invest
Natalia Winder-Rossi, Director of Social Policy and Social Protection at UNICEF, says universal benefits for children can be a lifesaver in the context of increasingly difficult economic conditions, food insecurity, conflict and climate-related disasters.
“There is an urgent need to consolidate, expand and invest in child-friendly and shock-responsive social protection systems. This is essential to protect children from a life of poverty and strengthen resilience, especially in the poorest households,” she added.
For kids and families
The report calls on policymakers to act towards universal social protection for all children, including by investing in the benefits proven and cost-effective ways to combat child poverty.
Authorities should also provide benefits to children through national social protection systems. Connecting families to vital health and social servicessuch as free or affordable quality childcare.
Other recommendations include ensuring sustainable financing of programs by mobilizing domestic resources and increase budget allocation for childrenand increased social protection for parents and carers, including ensure access to decent work And Full benefits for employees.