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From “The State of the From children

The State of the World’s Children 2002

World’s Children 2002” around the world
“Can there be a more sacred duty than our obliga- “We want a world where there is no discrimination
tion to protect the rights of a child as vigilantly as between boys and girls, between the able and the
we protect the rights of every other person? Can disabled, between the rich and the poor. We want a
there be a greater test of leadership than the task healthy, safe and clean environment suitable for all.
of ensuring these freedoms for every child, in every And we want a decent education and opportunities
country, without exception? ” for play, instead of having to work.”
– Kofi A. Annan – The Change Makers
Secretary-General, United Nations representing children from eight countries in South Asia

“Ensuring the rights and well-being of children is “… but I am also confident that everybody will
the key to sustained development in a country and contribute to this change, and that we will all live
to peace and security in the world. Meeting this one day in a country with better opportunities for
responsibility, fully, consistently and at any cost, is social and economic progress.”
the essence of leadership. Heads of State and
– El Salvador
Government hold the lion’s share of this responsibil-
ity but commitment and action are also called for
“But when the government officials come to listen
across the board: from community activists and
to us, they do most of the talking and don’t let us
entrepreneurs, from artists and scientists, from
speak enough. They should listen more and let us
religious leaders and journalists – and from children
ask difficult questions.”
and adolescents themselves.”

– Ethiopia
– Carol Bellamy

The State of the World’s Children 2002

Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund
“Maybe they [families] want to listen and under-
stand me, but they react so quickly to whatever I
“The future of our children lies in leadership and

say that I decide to give up and next time not even
the choices leaders make."
start. So I tend to tell my problems to my friends,
– Graça Machel and Nelson Mandela but they don’t have the experience to guide me.”
The Global Movement for Children – Islamic Republic of Iran

“We must move children to the centre of the world’s “I like to live, and with all the problems in my life I
agenda. We must rewrite strategies to reduce pover- look forward to another new year.”
ty so that investments in children are given priority.” – Sri Lanka
– Nelson Mandela
Former President of South Africa

$12.95 in USA £7.95 net in UK

ISBN: 92-806-3667-7
Sales no.:E.02.xx.1
Carol Bellamy, Executive Director,
United Nations Children’s Fund
This report has been prepared with the help of many people and organizations, including the
following UNICEF field offices and National Committees for UNICEF: Afghanistan, Australia,
Austria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Comoros, Costa Rica,
Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Germany,
Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People’s
Democratic Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique,
Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, West
Bank and Gaza, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) © The Library of Congress has catalogued this
serial publication as follows:
Permission to reproduce any part of this The state of the world’s children 2002
publication is required. Please contact the Editorial
and Publications Section, Division of UNICEF, UNICEF House, 3 UN Plaza,
Communication, UNICEF NY (3 UN Plaza, NY, NY New York, NY 10017, USA.
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E-mail: Permission will be E-mail:
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small fee. UNICEF, Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
ISBN 92-806-3667-7
Cover photo:
Foreword by Kofi A. Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations ..................................6

The State of the World’s Children 2002: Leadership

By Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund
Governments, as well as international institutions, must be held accountable for their lead-
ership in putting the rights and well-being of children above all other concerns. And those
that fail to do so must also be held accountable.
Ensuring the rights and well-being of children is the key to sustained development in a
country and to peace and security in the world. Meeting this responsibility, fully, consistently
and at any cost, is the essence of leadership. Heads of State and Government hold the lion’s
share of this responsibility but commitment and action are also called for across the board:
from community activists and entrepreneurs, from artists and scientists, from religious lead-
ers and journalists – and from children and adolescents themselves.
I. Birth and broken promises: There was high excitement in the village, the kind of ......9
joy and optimism that only a new baby can bring. Ayodele was a beautiful baby, full of limitless
potential, her whole life before her. For this moment, as should be the case at the birth
of any child, everyone set aside their fears and doubts about the future, their anxieties
about family health and growing enough food. They congratulated the baby’s parents and
contemplated the resurgent hope that new life always brings.
At the same time, on the other side of the Atlantic, there was a birth of a different kind,
one to which great hope was also attached. An unprecedented number of country presidents
and national leaders gathered in New York for the World Summit for Children. It was
September 1990, a time of unusual optimism in the world.
II. “To change the world with children:” Since the earliest days of its existence, ....33
UNICEF has called the world’s attention to the situation of children – to the many of them
bruised by the operation of national societies and the global economy, to the ways in which
they have suffered because of their parents’ poverty, to how their health has suffered through
lack of food or immunization and their mental development through poor health, abuse and
neglect and lack of education – and has taken action to offset the damage.
III. Actions that can change the world: Unquestionably, countries with the most ....51
power in the global economy need to show leadership in the pursuit of child rights. But
developing countries’ disadvantage does not exempt their governments from the need to
demonstrate leadership on behalf of children. The rights of children are indivisible and
paramount. No society should be satisfied until the rights of all are guaranteed and respected.
Investing in children is, quite simply, the best investment a government can make. No
country has made the leap into meaningful and sustained development without investing
significantly in its children.

Statistical panels
1. GOAL 1: Reduce infant and under-5 mortality rate .................................................................... 10
2. GOAL 2: Reduce maternal mortality ratio .................................................................................. 12
3. GOAL 3: Reduce severe and moderate under-5 malnutrition ...................................................... 16
4. GOALS 4 & 5: Universal access to safe drinking water and sanitary means of excreta disposal .... 18
5. GOAL 6: Universal access to basic education.............................................................................. 22
6. GOAL 7: Improved protection of children.................................................................................... 24

Voices of Young People
1. ON CHANGING THE WORLD WITH CHILDREN .............................................................................. 30
2. ON HIV/AIDS ...................................................................................................................... 40
3. ON CONFLICT .......................................................................................................................... 42
4. ON DISCRIMINATION ................................................................................................................ 52
5. ON POVERTY AND EDUCATION .................................................................................................. 72

1. IMMUNIZATION PLUS… .......................................................................................................... 14
2. TOSTAN: A BREAKTHROUGH MOVEMENT .................................................................................... 20
3. CHILDREN OF LIBERIA: DETERMINED TO CHANGE DESTINY .......................................................... 28
4. EDUCATE EVERY CHILD: THE DREAMS OF NAGALAND .................................................................. 34
5. PYALARA: YOUNG PALESTINIAN LEADERS ................................................................................ 36
6. CHILDREN’S OPINION POLLS .................................................................................................... 38
7. GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR CHILDREN: A ROLE FOR EVERYONE ...................................................... 44
9. IN MALAWI: FIGHTING HIV/AIDS FROM THE CLASSROOM ........................................................ 56
10. TEXTBOOKS BY DONKEY: EDUCATING GIRLS IN BADAKHSHĀN ...................................................... 58
11. THE ANONYMOUS TEACHER .................................................................................................... 60
14. CHRONICLE OF A DISASTER FORETOLD ...................................................................................... 66
15. IN EAST TIMOR: LEADERSHIP TO BUILD AN INDEPENDENT NATION ................................................ 68

Text figures
1. UNDER-INVESTMENT IN BASIC SOCIAL SERVICES ............................................................................ 53

Maps .......................................................................................................................................... 77
Pictorial representations of findings from end-decade reviews in more than 130 countries that
assessed the implementation of the 1990 World Summit for Children goals. The selected indices
capture both gains and future challenges for the well-being of children.

Balance Sheets .......................................................................................................................... 85

A summary of the goals, gains and unfinished business of the 1990-2000 decade as included in
the Report of the Secretary-General, “We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the
World Summit for Children.”

Regional Consultations ............................................................................................................ 91

Excerpts from the regional high level meetings that were held in 2000-2001 in preparation for
the Special Session on Children.

References .......................................................................................................................... 74

Index .................................................................................................................................. 99

Glossary .......................................................................................................................... 103

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 5

ike millions of people around the world, I have signed on to the ‘Say Yes for Children’
campaign, which proclaims that “all children should be free to grow in health, peace and
dignity.” Can there be a more sacred duty than our obligation to protect the rights of a
child as vigilantly as we protect the rights of any other person? Can there be a greater test of
leadership than the task of ensuring these freedoms for every child, in every country, without

At the United Nations General Assembly’s Special Session on Children this September, the
international community will take up this challenge as it reviews the progress that has been
made since the 1990 World Summit for Children. Ten years have yielded mixed results. Three
million fewer children under five now die each year, due in large part to immunization
programmes and the dedicated efforts of families and communities. In developing countries,
28 million fewer children under five suffer the debilitating effects of malnutrition. More than 175
countries are polio-free, and 104 have eliminated neonatal tetanus. Yet despite these gains, more
than 10 million children still die from mostly preventable diseases, some 600 million children
still live in poverty, and more than 100 million – the majority of them girls – are not in school.

Of all the lessons learned in the past decade, the critical role of leadership is perhaps the most
important one to take with us into the new century. Leadership is an imperative if we are to
improve the lives of children, their families and their communities. We must put the best
interests of children at the heart of all political and business decision-making, and at the centre
of our day-to-day behaviour and activities.

This issue of UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children is thus most timely. It calls for
leadership from all continents and all sectors of society. It illustrates the many and varied ways
that people have shown their commitment to children’s welfare. And it emphasizes the need to
give children the best possible start in life, to ensure that every child completes a basic education,
and to involve children – adolescents in particular – in the decisions that affect their lives.

These are no doubt ambitious goals, especially given the persistence of poverty, inequality
and conflict, and the ravages of HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases. No single government
or organization can hope to achieve them on its own. But together we can build a world fit for
children, if each of us does our part and takes the well-being of children as our own responsibility.
The Special Session must galvanize our collective efforts. This report is intended as a contribution
to that essential work and merits the widest possible readership.

Kofi A. Annan
Secretary-General of the United Nations



Children’s elections in Mexico

Birth and
broken promises
here was high excitement in the village, the kind
of joy and optimism that only a new baby can bring.
Ayodele was a beautiful baby, full of limitless
potential, her whole life before her. For this moment, as
should be the case at the birth of any child, everyone set
aside their fears and doubts about the future, their
anxieties about family health and growing enough food.
They congratulated the baby’s parents and contemplated
the resurgent hope that new life always brings.1

At the same time, on the other side of the Atlantic,

there was a birth of a different kind, one to which great
hope was also attached. An unprecedented number of
country presidents and national leaders gathered in
New York for the World Summit for Children. It was
September 1990, a time of unusual optimism in the
UNICEF/Harare and Ziana/Zimbabwe

Schoolchildren in Zimbabwe

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 9
World Summit
for Children

For children and

in the 1990s

Trend 14% reduction with 3 million fewer child deaths

1990 U5MR 94 per 1,000 live births
infant and
2000 U5MR 81 per 1,000 live births
2010 goal Further 33% reduction
Comments 63 countries achieved the goal of a 33% reduction and in over
rate (U5MR) 100 countries deaths in children under 5 were cut by 20%.
by 33%
U5MR 200
180 1990
change 172
over period
1990-2000 135
U5MR (deaths per 1,000 live births)

100 94
76 81
62 57 53
50 44 40 34

9 6
Sub-Saharan South Asia Middle East East Asia Latin CEE/CIS Industrialized World
Africa and North and Pacific America and and Baltic countries
Africa Caribbean States

Sources: United
Nations, Report Immunization 100
of the Secretary- Sub-Saharan Africa
General, ‘We the
1980-1999, 90 South Asia
Children: End-decade DPT3 80 East Asia and Pacific
76% 75% 75%
review of the follow-up Latin America and Caribbean 73% 74% 74%
to the World Summit for coverage 70
70% 70% 70% 71%
Children’, A/S-27/3,
United Nations, New 60 59%
York, 4 May 2001; 51% 52%
Per cent

United Nations, 50 46%

Preparatory Committee 42%
for the Special Session 40 37% 36%
of the General
Assembly on Children, 30
‘A world fit for children’.
Revised draft outcome 20
document A/AC-256/
CRP.6/Rev. 3, United
Nations, New York,
June 2001. 1980 1985 1990 1995 1999


The child-health revolution, begun pounded for the nightly meal. This
decades earlier, was in full swing dur- job is far from being her first of the
ing the 1980s as a worldwide immu- day: She has already collected four Leaders on
nization drive saved millions of young large bowls full of water, which she
lives. The cold war was over and there has carried back to her family’s com-
behalf of
was widespread expectation that money pound on her head; she has helped in children
that had been spent on arms could now the fields, cleaned the house and has
be devoted to human development in looked after her younger brothers Carlos Arévalo, a Peruvian
a ‘peace dividend’. The World Summit and sisters. Yes, she would like to go national police colonel,
for Children seemed in itself a sign to school, but it is very expensive to founded COLIBRI, an NGO
that the world had moved into a new buy the books and, besides, her fam- that works with abandoned
and brighter phase in which its policy ily needs her at home. children and adolescents
makers and politicians could gather to Ayodele’s life provides one small living on the streets,
consider how to guarantee children a piece in the jigsaw of evidence that helping them continue
better life rather than to deal with the shows that the most optimistic assess- their education.
implications of superpower rivalry. ments both in her own village and in
The World Summit reflected the New York at the time of her birth have
world’s hopes for children. Leaders not been realized. While she survived
promised to ratify the Convention on her first five years of life, two of her
the Rights of the Child, which had siblings born since the World Summit
been unanimously approved by the did not, dying from childhood dis-
United Nations General Assembly just eases against which they could have
the year before. They signed on to been immunized or which were easily
ambitious goals to reduce child mor- treated. Ayodele’s learning potential
tality, increase immunization coverage, was far from realized. Schools are not
deliver basic education and a whole the only place in which learning oc-
raft of other measures by the year curs, and she has grasped, by precept
2000. There was hope that the com- and example, many of the important
bination of a specific legal framework skills she will need to negotiate life in
together with an action plan with the village and beyond. But she cannot
time-tied, concrete goals would trans- read or deal with any but the most basic
form children’s lives worldwide over ideas of number; she has no knowledge
the decade to come. Children’s sur- of the world beyond her local town;
vival, development, protection and and she has no idea of her own rights.
education were no longer matters of
charitable concern but of legal oblig-
ation. The Declaration to which the
Children of the 1990s
world’s leaders signed their name was One child cannot stand for the whole
bold and unequivocal: “The well-being world, but the picture for the human
of children requires political action at family in its entirety, while it has
the highest level.” The cause of chil- some bright spots that were a lot
dren, for perhaps the first time in darker back in 1990, reflects a largely
human history, was at the top of the unfulfilled promise to children like
world’s agenda. Ayodele. The group of children born
at the start of the last decade of the
20th century was the largest genera-
Eleven years on tion of children the world has ever
Ayodele is now 10 years old, going on known. If all those born at the time
11 – and, though she does not know of the World Summit were reduced
it, she has been let down. Her life is proportionately to a cohort of 100
much the same as it would have been children, what would they look like? –
for a girl of her age in 1990. She is and what would their experience in
hard at work. The grain needs to be the last 10 years have been?

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 11
World Summit
for Children

For children and

in the 1990s

Trend No change – 515,000 women die every year as a result of

Reduce pregnancy and childbirth
maternal 1990 NA
mortality 2000 400 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births
ratio 2010 goal 33% reduction
by 50% Comments There has been a small increase in the percentage of births that
are attended by skilled personnel in some 53 countries where
maternal mortality is generally less severe. But, other than this
limited change in a single proxy measure, no other changes in
global maternal mortality ratios have been shown.

Risking death Lifetime chance of dying

to give life Region in pregnancy or childbirth*
Sub-Saharan Africa 1 in 13
South Asia 1 in 54
Middle East/North Africa 1 in 55
Latin America/Caribbean 1 in 157
East Asia/Pacific 1 in 283
CEE/CIS and Baltic States 1 in 797

* Affected not only

Least developed countries 1 in 16
by maternal mortality Developing countries 1 in 61
rates but also by Industrialized countries 1 in 4,085
the number of births World 1 in 75
per woman.
Sources: United
Nations, Report
of the Secretary- Skilled South Asia 29
General, ‘We the
Children: End-decade
Sub-Saharan Africa 37
review of the follow-up at delivery,
to the World Summit for
Children’, A/S-27/3, 1995-2000 East Asia and Pacific 66
United Nations, New
York, 4 May 2001; Middle East and North Africa 69
United Nations,
Preparatory Committee Latin America and the Caribbean 83
for the Special Session
of the General CEE/CIS and Baltic States 94
Assembly on Children,
‘A world fit for children’,
Revised draft outcome Developing countries 52
document A/AC-256/
CRP.6/Rev. 3, United
World 56
Nations, New York,
June 2001. 0 20 40 60 80 100
Per cent


Of the 100 children, 55 would have cant improvement, which means
been born in Asia, including 19 in that 3 million more children a year
India and 18 in China. Eight would are now surviving beyond their fifth Leaders on
have come from Latin America and the birthday than was the case a decade
Caribbean, seven from the Middle ago. More than 60 countries actually
behalf of
East and North Africa, 16 from sub- achieved the one-third reduction, in- children
Saharan Africa, six from CEE/CIS and cluding most countries in the Euro-
Baltic States and eight from industri- pean Union and North Africa and Henita Asinsaun is only 15
alized countries. many others in East Asia, Oceania, years old, but she’s already
The births of 33 of these children the Americas and the Middle East (see a veteran in organizing and
went unregistered: As a result they have Goal 1). activism: In her home town
no official existence, no recognition of But, the global picture conceals a of Malaian Bobonaro, East
nationality. Some of them have no massive disparity in achievements be- Timor, she trains women in
access to health facilities or to school tween regions and nations. Some rich how to run meetings, orga-
without this official proof of their age countries did not achieve the goal nize a budget and set and
and identity. while some very poor countries man- achieve their goals.
Around 32 of the children suffered aged, by dint of huge effort and effec-
from malnutrition before the age of five tive policies, to reach it. The tragedy of
and 27 were not immunized against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa in
any diseases. Nine died before the age particular not only sent some coun-
of five. Of the remaining 91 children, tries’ child-mortality rates soaring after
18 do not attend school, of whom 11 decades of improvement but also acted
are girls. Eighteen of the children have as a drag upon the global figure.
no access to safe drinking water and In the case of one of the major
39 live without sanitation. causes of child mortality, diarrhoea,
The difference between the life the world actually achieved its goal
experiences and living conditions of of slashing death rates in half. The
these 100 children and a comparable goal set in relation to measles was
cohort of 11-year-olds in 1990 is not even more ambitious: a 95 per cent
anything as great as the international reduction in the number of deaths
community would have wished when from measles and a 90 per cent reduc-
it began its undertakings a decade tion in measles cases by 1995. Over
ago. Eleven years on from the World the whole decade, measles cases have
Summit, world leaders are again to declined by nearly two thirds, still a
gather in New York to consider the remarkable achievement. The target
state of the world’s children, looking for neonatal tetanus was also ap-
back over the years since the fine propriately bold: to eliminate it com-
words of the Declaration were ex- pletely by 1995. At the latest count,
pressed and since key, specific goals 104 of 161 developing countries have
were set to improve children’s lives. achieved that goal – and 90 per cent
The data presented to them will show of all remaining neonatal tetanus is
that the progress has been patchy, in just 27 countries.
the record a mixture of conspicuous Polio was slated for complete erad-
achievement and dispiriting failure. ication by 2000. Again, the progress
has been extraordinary without the
Meeting the goals – and goal quite being reached. More than
175 countries have been certified
falling short
polio-free, and the world now looks
The first goal of the World Summit to be on target, provided the com-
was to reduce the rates of infant and mitment remains there, to eradicate
under-five mortality by one third polio by 2005 at the latest. At that
between 1990 and 2000. Overall the point it will become the second dis-
reduction was 14 per cent – a signifi- ease, after smallpox, to be completely

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 13

1 Immunization plus. . .

ecilia Soriano, 42, lives with her
husband and eight children in a
shanty in Manila. Since she was
pregnant with her daughter, Katherine,
who is now five, Cecilia has been troubled
by night-blindness. Initially, she thought
her vision problems were a routine part of
being pregnant. Then, after her baby was
born, she thought she was just getting
old. But when Katherine began coming
home covered with scrapes, scratches and

UNICEF/Philippines/J.R. Fortin
bumps on her forehead after playing out-
side at dusk and frequently complaining
about her eyes, Cecilia became alarmed.
She sought the help of Nenita Ito, a com-
munity health worker, who encouraged
Cecilia to go to the public health centre.
The doctor diagnosed both Cecilia and
Katherine as having night-blindness due to
vitamin A deficiency (VAD). indigenous groups in the Sarangani lar immunizations from dying before they
Affecting about 100 million young Islands, to urge mothers to take their are five years old, and the gap is growing
children worldwide, vitamin A deficiency children to the health centre. Eighty-five between these children and those in
is the leading cause of blindness in chil- per cent of the target population received the industrialized world who have such
dren in developing countries. Even mild de- a second dose of vitamin A in 2000. But life-savers readily available.
ficiencies can compromise a young child’s despite these campaigns against VAD, it Committed to closing this gap, the
immune system, reducing resistance to still remains a major threat to the lives of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immuni-
such child-killer diseases as measles, Filipino children, in particular to those zation (GAVI) was formed in 1999 with
malaria and diarrhoea. Children with who are the most impoverished. the goal of reaching the 30 million to 40
vitamin A deficiencies face a 25 per cent Reducing vitamin A deficiency by hav- million children in developing countries
greater risk of dying from childhood ill- ing at least two rounds of vitamin A sup- who are not immunized. The GAVI part-
nesses than those with an adequate intake plementation per year with at least 70 ners – which include national govern-
of this micronutrient or those whose per cent coverage among children aged 6 ments, UNICEF, the World Bank Group,
diets are fortified or supplemented on a to 59 months was one of the goals set at the World Health Organization, the Bill
regular basis with vitamin A capsules. the 1990 World Summit for Children. and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine
In the early 1990s, the Government of Progress has been made over the past Program, the Rockefeller Foundation, the
the Philippines promoted vitamin A sup- 10 years – the number of developing International Federation of Pharmaceuti-
plementation and full immunization of countries providing vitamin A supplemen- cal Manufacturers Associations and pub-
children through National Immunization tation to 70 per cent or more of children lic health and research institutions –
Days and Micronutrient Days. As a result under five has risen from 11 nations in hope to significantly expand the reach and
of vigorous campaigns, nearly 90 per cent 1996, to 27 in 1998, and 43 in 1999. As effectiveness of immunization programmes
of Filipino children aged six or younger many as 1 million young lives may have country by country.
were covered from 1993 to 1996. In 1998, been saved in the last three years alone GAVI also aims to make underused vac-
these campaigns were integrated into a through vitamin A supplementation. cines, such as that for yellow fever and
more comprehensive programme, which But, despite the success of vitamin A new vaccines such as hepatitis B and
twice yearly provided children aged six campaigns to date, new distribution sys- Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib),
and younger with vitamin A supplemen- tems must be established – or existing available to all children at risk by 2002
tation, routine immunization, deworming, primary health care systems must be and 2005, respectively. Through a global
iron supplementation, and iodized salt strengthened – if the world is to meet its network of international development
testing and distribution. Mothers and challenge of reducing infant and under- organizations, multilateral development
caregivers were educated about breast- five mortality rates by two thirds by 2015. banks, philanthropic organizations, pri-
feeding, hygiene and the advantages of For this to happen, every child must re- vate sector leaders and other parties, GAVI
using iodized salt. ceive, at a minimum, regular immuniza- promises to further energize the world’s
Leticia Bancairen, a community health tions and vitamin A supplementation. commitment to its youngest citizens.
worker, remembers trekking to remote Children in the poorest countries are
villages of the B’laans, one of five major the least protected by vaccines and regu-


conquered through human will and of countries with 70 per cent or higher
solidarity. Meanwhile, the number of coverage in vitamin A rose from 11 to
reported cases of guinea worm dis- 43 (see Panel 1). Leaders on
ease declined over the decade by 97 Iodine deficiency, meanwhile, which
per cent. Only 13 countries in Africa is the main cause of preventable
behalf of
and one country in the Middle East mental retardation, is most easily ad- children
are now affected. dressed through the simple process of
The child-health achievements are iodizing salt. The goal of virtually Caroline Awuor Agwanda is
mixed with concern that what in 1990 eliminating iodine deficiency dis- a Kenyan who hasn’t let a
seemed like unstoppable progress orders has not been met, but the disability stop her from
towards universal child immunization percentage of people in developing being an entrepreneurial
has stalled somewhat in the decade countries consuming iodized salt has leader: At only 24, she is
since. It is now clear that the levels of gone up from under 20 per cent to an established business-
immunization at the time of the around 72 per cent. Given this pro- woman who employs 20
World Summit were actually lower, at gress, the elimination of iodine defi- artisans in her shop,
73 per cent, than was assumed at the ciency disorders by 2005 looks to be a HOPE, and supports her
time. Not only has the Summit goal realistic prospect, though it will re- 11-member family.
of 90 per cent coverage not been quire both effort and commitment,
achieved, but the world has struggled since there are still 37 countries where
to maintain about the same levels of less than half of the households con-
coverage: Over a quarter of the world’s sume iodized salt.
children (around 30 million infants) The World Summit goals of universal
are still not reached by routine immu- access to safe drinking water and san-
nization. In sub-Saharan Africa only itary means of excreta disposal by
47 per cent of children are immunized 2000 have not even been neared dur-
against diphtheria, whooping cough ing the 1990s. The percentage of people
and tetanus. with access has gone up in both cases –
In the field of nutrition, the pri- from 79 per cent to 82 per cent for
mary goal was to cut malnutrition water, and 55 per cent to 60 per cent
rates among children under five by for sanitation. But this still leaves
half. Although this was more than around 1.1 billion people without safe
achieved in South America, the water and 2.4 billion people without
decline in developing countries was adequate sanitation, the vast major-
only 17 per cent. In Asia, where more ity of the latter group being in Asia
than two thirds of the world’s mal- (see Goals 4 & 5).
nourished children live, the drop in The goal of universal access to
child malnutrition rates was relatively basic education is also still far from
small, from 36 per cent to 29 per being achieved. Net primary enrol-
cent, while in sub-Saharan Africa the ment ratios increased in every region
absolute number of malnourished but there are still more than 100 mil-
children has actually increased (see lion children out of school and many
Goal 3). more than that who receive an edu-
On the other hand, two of the cation of poor quality. The gender
micronutrients identified at the World gap – the difference between the school
Summit for Children as key to pre- enrolment and completion rates of
venting ‘hidden hunger’ – vitamin A boys and girls – is still far too wide,
and iodine – have been success stories even if it has closed fractionally over-
of the 1990s. The lack of vitamin A all and narrowed significantly in
can lead to blindness and make chil- most countries in the Middle East
dren more susceptible to illness, but and North Africa. There was a modest
can be prevented by fortification of decline in adult illiteracy which fell
food or the distribution of capsules as well short of the 50 per cent cut that
part of immunization campaigns. had been hoped for (see Goal 6).
Between 1996 and 1999 the number
T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 15
World Summit
for Children

For children and

in the 1990s

Trend 17% reduction in developing countries

1990 32% in developing countries
severe and
2000 27% in developing countries
2010 goal 33% reduction, with special attention to children under two
Comments The total number of malnourished children in developing countries
malnutrition fell from 177 million to 149 million.
by 50%
in child 50 1990 1995 2000
developing 40

countries, 30
Per cent underweight








lA N
B /






ra EA






















Sources: United
Nations, Report Levels of 100
of the Secretary- 88
General, ‘We the iodized salt 90 81
Children: End-decade
review of the follow-up
consumption, 80 70 72
to the World Summit for 1995-2000 70 64 62
Children’, A/S-27/3, 60
United Nations, New
York, 4 May 2001; 50
United Nations,
Preparatory Committee
for the Special Session 30 26
of the General
Assembly on Children, 20
‘A world fit for children’,
Per cent

Revised draft outcome
document A/AC-256/ 0
World Developing Latin East Middle Sub- South CEE/CIS
CRP.6/Rev. 3 , United
countries America Asia East and Saharan Asia
Nations, New York, and the and North Africa
June 2001. Caribbean Pacific Africa


Falling far short most intractable diseases, from can-
cer to cystic fibrosis, less terrifying
It is in the area of women’s health, and life-threatening than they have Leaders on
however, where countries have made been to all previous generations. A
no discernable progress – a reflection mammal, Dolly the sheep, was cloned
behalf of
of women’s continuing low status in for the first time ever – and later gave children
many societies. The aim was to birth to normal, healthy lambs. In the
reduce maternal mortality rates by 1990s, the Internet went from being Brazilian journalist Ambar
half but there is no evidence that the plaything of a privileged few to a de Barros founded ANDI,
there has been any significant mass medium that promised to change an acronym in Portuguese
decline. A related goal of giving all our whole way of perceiving the world: for the News Agency on
pregnant women access to prenatal By the year 2000, over 300 million Children’s Rights, a news
care and trained attendants during people were estimated to be using organization for mobilizing
childbirth has been hardly met: only the Internet, making this by far the and training journalists
29 per cent of births in South Asia are fastest-growing communication tool to promote social equity,
attended and only 37 per cent in sub- ever.2 The $2 billion Hubble Space and investigation and
Saharan Africa (see Goal 2). Telescope, the most complex and debate of the problems of
UNICEF is determined to focus sensitive space observatory ever con- street children and youth.
attention on the unfinished business, structed, was launched into orbit in
on the children who, like Ayodele, 1990; a US spacecraft docked with
have not yet been reached. The world the Russian space station Mir in 1995
should be under no illusion: Despite in an historic advance both in terms
the progress that has been made, the of technology and of international
last decade has been a missed oppor- cooperation; and in 1998, a Russian
tunity of tragic proportions. rocket took into orbit the first com-
ponent of the new International Space
Station, which is the most expensive
Human pain, human ingenuity single object ever built.3 By the end of
When leaders are talking of millions the decade, no less than $1.5 trillion
of people, the individuals involved was changing hands each day in spec-
are too easily reduced to ciphers, ulation on the international currency
their pain translated into statistics markets.4
and trends. But every one of the chil- Presented with these extraordinary
dren born since 1990 has a name and developments, is there anyone who
a story; every one of them has the could seriously maintain that the
right to health, learning and protec- world leaders’ declaration of intent
tion, the right to their full potential for children in 1990 represented an
and the right to participate in shap- impossible dream? The resources and
ing their world – rights which have technological know-how are there.
in all too many cases been violated. That this wealth and these skills have
Why have children’s rights contin- not been fully harnessed to deliver a
ued to be abused? Are child poverty world fit for children is, then, a result
and ill-health monsters that will always of misguided leadership and a dere-
be with us, unbanishable, unbeatable? liction of duty.
Must the exploitation of children be
a fact of life forever?
Think again. In that same decade
humanity showed its enormous in- Governments, as well as international
genuity and technological capacity institutions, must be held accountable
over and again. The understanding of for their leadership in putting the rights
humans’ genetic make-up increased and well-being of children above all
with every passing year and could other concerns. And those that fail to
within a generation make even the do so must also be held accountable.

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 17
World Summit
for Children

For children and

in the 1990s

Trend 3 percentage point increase with 816 million additional people

Universal now having access
access 1990 79% (4.1 billion)
to safe 2000 82% (5 billion)
drinking 2010 goal 33% increase
water Comments 1.1 billion people still lack access.

Universal Trend 5 percentage point increase with 747 million additional people
now having access
access to 1990 55% (2.9 billion)
sanitary 2000 60% (3.6 billion)
means of 2010 goal 33% increase
excreta Comments 2.4 billion people still lack access, including half of all people
disposal living in Asia.

Improved water coverage, change over Improved sanitation coverage, change over
period 1995-2000 period 1995-2000
100 100100 100 98 100
1990 91 1990 89
87 88
2000 84 83 83 2000
80 81 81
80 75 80 76 76
Coverage (%)
Coverage (%)

60 55 54
48 49

40 40 37 38

20 20

0 0
Sub-Saharan East Asia South Asia Latin America CEE/CIS and Middle East Industrialized South Asia East Asia Sub-Saharan Latin Middle East CEE/CIS Industrialized
Africa and Pacific and Baltic States and North countries and Pacific Africa America and and North and Baltic countries
Caribbean Africa Caribbean Africa States

Sources: United Nations, Report of the Secretary-General, ‘We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children’, A/S-27/3, United Nations,
New York, 4 May 2001; United Nations, Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly on Children, ‘A world fit for children’, Revised draft outcome
document A/AC-256/CRP.6/Rev. 3, United Nations, New York, June 2001.


Ensuring the rights and well-being State who use their positions of lead-
of children is the key to sustained de- ership to invest generously in the social
velopment in a country and to peace sector, particularly in programmes ben- Leaders on
and security in the world. Meeting this efiting children. In the Maldives, the
responsibility, fully, consistently and at investment in the country’s youngest
behalf of
any cost, is the essence of leadership. citizens has resulted in some of the children
Heads of State and Government hold best social indicators in the region
the lion’s share of this responsibility such as low infant mortality rates and With five of her friends
but commitment and action are also good basic education and literacy and $720 in funding from
called for across the board: from rates for this nation of islands. Foundation, 15-
community activists and entrepre- Ordinary people are just as capable year-old Kuheli Battacharya
neurs, from artists and scientists, of showing leadership as are prime has been an inspiration to
from religious leaders and journalists – ministers and presidents. Head teach- teens and adults alike by
and from children and adolescents ers show leadership, for example, when running a vaccination clinic
themselves. they admit children into school despite for poor children in her
The United Nations Secretary- their families not being able to pay community of Pune, India.
General, in his report at the time of the required fees – recognizing the “If we don’t care,” she
the Millennium Summit, stated: “No higher costs to the child, the family asks, “who will?”
shift in the way we think or act can and the community of keeping the
be more critical than this: we must child out. Parents show leadership,
put people at the centre of everything when in communities where it is nor-
we do. No calling is more noble, and mal only to send sons, they send
no responsibility greater, than that of their daughters to school – and when
enabling men, women and children, they resist social pressure to with-
in cities and villages around the world, draw the girls for early marriage.
to make their lives better.” 5 Nine sheikhs from Somalia showed
Each of us has the opportunity to leadership in 2000 when they trav-
demonstrate leadership as we go about elled to attend a course at Al-Azhar
the everyday business of our lives by International University Centre for
taking the extra moment to ask: ‘How Islamic Studies in Cairo, on the harm
does this decision, this choice, affect that female genital mutilation (FGM)
the lives of children’? inflicts on girls and women in various
It was leadership that the late Julius cultures throughout the world. As
Nyerere exercised when he built the did Dr. Ahmed R.A. Ragab, an Islamic
nation of Tanzania on what he de- scholar and gynaecologist, who vis-
scribed as the “values of justice, a re- ited every area of the country to con-
spect for human beings, a development duct targeted sessions in communities
which is people centred, development about the disastrous medical implica-
where you care about people…”.6 tions of FGM. As a result, not only has
When Nyerere first became Prime the Awdal region in the north-west of
Minister of the newly independent Somalia declared the total eradica-
nation in 1961, 85 per cent of the tion of FGM to be a priority goal but
adult population was illiterate and religious leaders and most civilian
there were two trained engineers and authorities have also rallied around
12 doctors. When he retired as Presi- the cause of eliminating FGM – a
dent in 1985, there was a 91 per cent significant breakthrough in a country
literacy rate, thousands of engineers, where over 95 per cent of girls have
doctors and teachers had been trained hitherto been mutilated in this way8
and nearly every child in the United (see Panel 2).
Republic of Tanzania was in school.7 In Namibia, leadership is being
Today, H. E. Maumoon Abdul shown in the My Future is My Choice
Gayoom, President of the Maldives, is programme by secondary-school grad-
among those contemporary Heads of uates who receive 10 days of training,

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 19
2 A breakthrough movement

urèye Sall used to earn her living groundswell of social activism. The profusely. Fearful that the young girl
performing female genital cutting straightforward programme focuses on will die, the family takes her to the health
in Senegal. Not even when one of technical information. Beginning with clinic nurse. The nurse arranges for Poolel
her daughters nearly haemorrhaged to human rights education and collective to go to the regional hospital where she
death three decades ago, after being cut problem-solving, the core of all other dies the next day.
by her grandmother, could Ourèye stop. modules, the class learns about hygiene, After discussing the play and their
Culture and tradition were too strong. Plus oral rehydration, immunization, financial feelings and answering questions about
it was her only source of income. But in and material management, leadership, female genital cutting, many classes
1997, together with others in her village, group dynamics, women’s health and have concluded that the ancient practice
Ourèye put down her knives. income-generating options. Each module must stop. Bolstered by their new under-
Female genital cutting, the removal of incorporates village customs, language standing of the rights of women and chil-
part or all of the female genitalia, has and traditions to create a respectful envi- dren, the participants are galvanized to
existed for thousands of years. Yet during ronment that matches the participants’ protect their daughters, granddaughters,
the past four years, 282 villages in learning styles. Social mobilization activ- nieces and other village girls.
Senegal, representing approximately ities assure the learning process is par- “African women are such incredible
220,000 people, have stopped the prac- ticipatory and relevant to the community. mothers and do so much for their chil-
tice. The villages did not stop female As they move through the programme, dren,” says Molly Melching, the director
genital cutting in response to outside learners become more at ease with dis- of Tostan. “To say they are mutilators is
pressure or national laws. Instead, it was cussing once taboo issues. The Tostan offensive. Female genital cutting was an
a grass-roots movement arising from the programme gives facts, not judgements. act of love to protect their daughters’
people that put an end to the practice. It’s up to the participants to decide what honour. Ending the practice to protect
Ourèye Sall is a leader in that movement. to do with the new information they’ve their daughters’ human rights and health
She holds her head up high as she received. “If you impose on me, I’ll fight,” is now their act of love.”
speaks to villagers, religious leaders, says Demba Diawara, the Imam from Keur In Senegal, the real impetus for aban-
government officials, journalists and the Simbara who walks from village to village doning female genital cutting is at the
international community about her decision in his campaign to end female genital grassroots, where women, men and reli-
to stop cutting and her role in helping to cutting. “But if I am allowed the dignity gious and traditional leaders are engaged
end the practice throughout Senegal. and space to decide, I will fully cooperate.” in a dynamic collaboration.
This movement to end female genital One activity begun in the classroom Since the movement has taken hold,
cutting began in the village of Malicounda and carried to neighbouring villages is a the Senegal Parliament has passed a
Bambara. Villagers decided to abolish the play. The class members act out the story national law abolishing the ritual. While
tradition after participating in a UNICEF- of Poolel, an eight-year-old girl who is to laws may be supportive of the people’s
funded basic education programme run undergo the ancient rite of circumcision. actions, the real power lies in village
by the NGO, ‘Tostan’ (“breakthrough” in Like other girls her age, she is to become declarations. These public decrees tip the
Wolof, a local tongue). Unlike literacy a ‘real woman’ who will be clean, respec- balance. Where once women like Ourèye
programmes of the 1970s and 1980s, table and marriage-ready. Sall could not stop cutting for fear their
which involved teacher-led discussions As the play evolves, Poolel goes daughters would not be able to find hus-
and letter and syllable repetition, Tostan through this rite of passage but bleeds bands, now it is just the opposite.
depends on a participatory process where
learners sit in a circle and use role-playing,
singing, proverbs, poetry and theatre.
In 1997, two years after Tostan first
began, women of Malicounda Bambara,
with the support of their husbands and
religious leaders, ended female genital
cutting in their community. Citing human
rights articles and negative health conse-
quences for their daughters, the women
had begun a movement of cultural change.
A shorter version of that original pro-
gramme is now in place in over 400 vil-
lages in Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and

Sudan, with similar results.

Without a doubt, the practical, student-
focused classes are what led to the


enabling them to facilitate a life skills “We really did spend the money on
training course including up to 22 schools and health,” says economist
adolescents between 15 and 18 years Boris Segura. “Armies are a waste of Leaders on
of age. Between 1997 and the middle money. It’s that simple.”11
of 2000, the programme had reached Across the globe, where children in
behalf of
74,000 young people and should Afghanistan have suffered dispropor- children
meet its target of training 80 per cent tionately from the country’s decades
of 15- to 18-year-olds by the end of of internal armed conflict, it is worth Asserting that female
2001.9 noting that there have also been genital cutting “mutilates
Costa Rica provides an excellent impressive acts of leadership in the the mind as well as the
example of how leadership can trans- years 2000 and 2001. During 2000, body,” former European
form the fortunes of a country – and four National Immunization Days Union Commissioner
particularly of its children. On 1 De- were completed in Afghanistan, with Emma Bonino has launched
cember 1948, President José Figueres an average of 5.4 million children a campaign to have FGC
abolished the army. “The army hands reached with the polio vaccine in recognized as a fundamental
over the keys to the barracks, to be each case; five further immunization abuse of human rights and
converted into a cultural centre,” he rounds are planned for 2001. In every to change Europe’s asylum
said. “We are the sustainers of a new case so far, the polio eradication policy for women at risk
world in America. Little Costa Rica activities have been conducted in who are seeking refugee
offers its heart and love to civilian conditions of tranquillity: Both the status.
rule and democracy.”10 warring factions and all their local
Figueres believed that democratic commanders have respected the peace,
institutions would only grow strong recognizing the overarching impor-
in Costa Rica if the army was dis- tance of the vaccination campaign.12
banded. He also saw the opportunity
to promote the rights of children at
the same time: He transferred the
Facing HIV
whole defence budget to the Educa- Conflict is one of the main blockages
tion Ministry at a stroke. on the road to child rights; another is
More than 50 years later, Costa HIV/AIDS. On an international level,
Rica is still seeing the benefits of this the industrialized countries have taken
enlightened position. Leaders and insufficient responsibility for the global
governments have come and gone in battle of the human family against
the decades since Figueres left the the virus. Each of the wealthiest nations
scene but, whether from the left or the took immediate and urgent action
right, none of them has disturbed the from the mid-1980s to counter the
legacy that has long given the coun- spread of the epidemic within their
try the best human-development indi- own populations, through activism,
cators in the region. Right through the public-education campaigns and health
terrible decade of the 1980s in which initiatives. Yet once there were signs
death squads and torture corroded the that the epidemic had been contained
neighbouring societies of El Salvador, within their own countries, too many
Honduras and Guatemala, and while governments responded with com-
a disastrous armed conflict was being placency about what was happening
fought in Nicaragua, Costa Rica main- around the world. Governments of
tained its steady, peaceful progress. In industrialized countries paid narrow
1999, under-five mortality, often the attention to their own disease statistics
most reliable index of human devel- and turned a blind eye to the tragedy
opment because it measures an out- unfolding in developing countries.
come rather than an input, stood at Only as the millennium loomed did
14 per 1,000 in Costa Rica, compared they realize that in this arena nation-
with 60 in Guatemala, 47 in Nicaragua al borders are insignificant and that
and 42 in El Salvador and Honduras. we are likely to stand or fall together.

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 21
World Summit
for Children

For children and

in the 1990s

Trend Increasing, with a narrowing gender gap. There are now more
Universal children in school than there ever were before
access 1990 78%
to basic 2000 82%
education 2005 goal Elimination of gender disparities in primary and secondary education
and 2010 goal A further 50% reduction of children not in school and a net
completion primary school enrolment of at least 90%
Comments While net primary enrolment is increasing at a higher rate than
of primary population growth, there are still more than 100 million children
education without access to basic education, 60 million of them girls.
These are overwhelmingly working children, children affected by
by 80% of disability, HIV/AIDS or conflict, children of poor families, children
children of ethnic minorities, children in rural, peri-urban and remote areas
and, above all, girls.
Sources: United Nations,
Report of the Secretary- Primary 100
94 92
96 97
General, ‘We the 1990 88
Children: End-decade
school 1998 84
review of the follow-up enrolment 80 74 74 76
to the World Summit for
Net primary school enrolment (%)

Children’, A/S-27/3, (net), 67

United Nations, New York, 60
4 May 2001; United
change 60
Nations, Preparatory over
Committee for the Special
Session of the General period 40
Assembly on Children, 1990-1998
‘A world fit for children’,
Revised draft outcome 20
document A/AC-256/
CRP.6/Rev. 3, United
Nations, New York, 0
June 2001. Sub- South and Arab Latin America Central East Asia
Saharan West Asia States- and Asia and
Africa North Africa Caribbean Pacific

Trend 16% decrease, although the number hovers around 880 million
Reduce adult due to population growth
illiteracy 1990 25% (895 million illiterate adults)
rate to 50% 2000 21% (875 million illiterate adults)
of the 1990 Comments Illiteracy has become concentrated regionally in South Asia and
level sub-Saharan Africa. It has also become concentrated among women.


The UN Security Council debated Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis,
AIDS for the first time in January and other Infectious Diseases in April
2000, recognizing that the disease 2001, proposing a multi-billion dollar Leaders on
presents a threat to international a year Global AIDS and Health Fund,
peace and security. Later that year with support to come from donor
behalf of
UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot and developing country governments children
said: “No doubt, the year 2000 can be and the private sector. Mr. Annan has
described as the year when the prob- made the personal pledge of the Geoffrey Canada grew up
lem of AIDS was recognized also as a $100,000 grant he is to receive along in Harlem on the streets of
political problem…. It is sad but true: with the Philadelphia Liberty Award. one of New York’s roughest
the main decision makers hardly Taking every opportunity to impress neighbourhoods – and
showed any interest until it was the need for such a full scale assault stayed, dedicating his life
brought home to them that produc- against HIV/AIDS, the Secretary-General to helping children and
tivity and economic growth were followed up with a series of meetings, their families at risk of
being seriously affected.” 13 including an international consultation drugs, violence and other
The profound impact of the epi- in June 2001 with more than 200 threats with programmes
demic on the lives of children and representatives from 50 countries, mul- for education, housing
their families threatens not only indi- tilaterals and NGOs, private founda- and non-violence.
vidual lives and spirits but our collec- tions and others, aimed at having the
tive hopes for humanity. In his report fund operational as soon as possible.
to the Millennium Summit in 2000, Responses to the Secretary-General’s
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan call have come from governments, the
urged “that every seriously affected private sector and the foundation world,
country have a national plan of action including $1 million from Winterthur
in place within one year of the Sum- Insurance, a Credit Suisse Group com-
mit;” recommended explicit goals for pany and, in an extraordinary action,
reducing HIV infection rates; chal- $100 million from the Bill & Melinda
lenged the developed countries to Gates Foundation, the largest private
come up with effective and afford- donor to date.
able vaccines against HIV through In June 2001, the United Nations
public-private partnerships; called for General Assembly convened its first
better care and support for those liv- ever special session on a disease as high-
ing with HIV/AIDS; and proposed level national delegations pledged a
that governments, the pharmaceuti- global commitment for greater efforts
cal industry and international insti- at the national, regional and inter-
tutions work together to ensure that national levels and concrete targets
HIV-related drugs are widely accessi- for action to fight the epidemic and
ble where they are needed.14 reverse its deadly course. In a Dec-
In his February 2001 report to the laration of Commitment, ‘Global
Special Session of the UN General Crisis – Global Action’, the Assembly
Assembly on HIV /AIDS, the Secretary- outlined priority areas for action to
General spoke of the AIDS epidemic be: prevention, improved access to
as a “crisis of governance and a crisis care and treatment, care of children
of leadership.” And he went further orphaned by AIDS, expanded public/
to say that “leadership – at the global private partnerships, multisectoral re-
as well as the country level – is the sponses and a significant infusion of
single most important factor in re- financial support.16
versing the epidemic.”15 The impact of HIV/AIDS is crush-
Just a few months later, in what has ing the attempts of countries all over
become an intense campaign at the the world to put human development
highest levels of international coopera- and the rights of women and chil-
tion, the Secretary-General launched dren first. In the Latin American and
a ‘Call to action’ at the African Leaders’ Caribbean region, for example, an

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 23
World Summit
for Children

For children and

in the 1990s

The categories are broad: working children, children in armed

Improve protection of conflict, refugee children, sexually abused/exploited children,
children in especially incarcerated children, children with disabilities and children from
socially disadvantaged groups. Data are especially hard to find for
difficult circumstances these children, due to the secretive, illegal or pervasive nature of
these activities.

AIDS and child mortality

Botswana 64%
Zimbabwe 50%
South Africa 50%
Namibia 48%
Kenya 35%
Mozambique 26%
Zambia 25%
Liberia 22% Percentage of under-five child
mortality due to AIDS, projected
Tanzania 20% for the years 2000-2005

Côte d’Ivoire 17%

Percentage 100
Sources: United Nations, One third of all births or
Report of the Secretary- births not 90 40 million births every
78 year are NOT registered
General, ‘We the registered, 80
Children: End-decade
review of the follow-up 1998 70
to the World Summit for
Children’, A/S-27/3,
United Nations, New York, 50 44
Per cent

4 May 2001; United

40 35 33
Nations, Preparatory
Committee for the Special 30
Session of the General 19
Assembly on Children, 20
‘A world fit for children’, 8
10 3
Revised draft outcome
document A/AC-256/ 0
CRP.6/Rev. 3, United Sub- Central Asia and Middle Americas Europe World
Nations, New York, Saharan Asia Pacific East and
June 2001. Africa North Africa


estimated 210,000 adults and children such frank discussion of sex. As a re-
contracted the virus in 2000, bring- sult, while no one would underestimate
ing the total number of people living the pain and loss Ugandans have suf- Leaders on
with HIV to 1.8 million. Haiti is the fered at the hands of HIV/AIDS, the
worst affected country in the region, country has brought the epidemic
behalf of
with an estimated 74,000 children under control: Its HIV-infection rate children
orphaned by AIDS.17 has dropped from 30 per cent of adults
But the epidemic is at its most dev- in the early 1990s to 10 per cent, one “If children need peace,
astating in southern and eastern of the lowest rates in the eastern they must do something.”
Africa where, after decades of steady part of Africa. This is the motto of Farid
improvement, life expectancy figures When a country finds itself in such Dadashev, an 11-year-old
are plummeting to the levels associ- dire circumstances the need for lead- from Azerbaijan, who
ated with the pre-independence, ership becomes all the more desper- collected more than 1,000
colonial period. Africa’s experience of ate. In Botswana, the Government signatures in his work in
HIV/AIDS over the last 10 years has has started on the long and painful the Azerbaijan Child to
diverged so dramatically and terrify- road to recovery by becoming the Child Peace Network.
ingly from that of industrialized coun- first country in Africa to launch a na-
tries not because a plague has hit it at tional programme to prevent mother-
random, still less because its sexual to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV.
traditions are different, but rather A pilot project in the cities of Francis-
because of its poverty: AIDS is the town and Gaborone started in April
most savage index of the inequality 1999 and is being extended nation-
of our world. Any infection thrives in wide between July 2000 and December
conditions of poverty, malnutrition and 2001. It provides pregnant women
unsafe water: It is as true of HIV/AIDS with information and education, and
as it is of tuberculosis and measles. voluntary and confidential coun-
The industrialized nations have selling and testing, and provides anti-
markedly failed to show the requisite retroviral drugs for those who are
global leadership in the field of HIV positive, during their pregnancy
HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, leadership and labour, as well as AZT syrup for
has also been required of the African the baby in its first month of life.18
countries bearing the main brunt of Africa does not provide the only
the epidemic – and the responses of leadership models in the field of
individual governments to its mount- HIV/AIDS. Thailand also deserves
ing threat have been markedly varied. great credit: It was the first Asian
Some have seemed for many years nation to recognize that it had a
determined to pursue an ostrich-like major HIV/AIDS problem and to
approach, taking no account of the make tackling the disease an urgent
rising tide of infection in the region priority. Warned by the catastrophic
until it became an unstoppable flood. losses in Africa, Thai officials attacked
In contrast Uganda, it is widely rec- their HIV epidemic at an earlier stage,
ognized, took on a leadership role in launching extensive education cam-
the late 1980s and early 1990s: The paigns. The ‘100% Condom Cam-
Government there launched huge paign’ became national policy in
public-education campaigns that edu- 1991 and condom use was not only
cated people about how HIV is trans- heavily promoted, particularly to the
mitted, promoted the use of condoms young, but the Ministry of Public
and talked about the need for safe Health also started providing 60 mil-
sex. President Yoweri Museveni him- lion condoms a year free of charge,
self showed leadership on the issue, mainly to sex workers. Condom use
talking openly about the virus and its soon increased by over 30 per cent
sexual transmission route despite wide- and new HIV infections were radi-
spread taboos in the region against cally reduced.19

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 25
Children at the centre of policy ples’ Democratic Republic have also
set particularly good examples in the
The Government in Mauritius, mean- field of immunization. Through mul-
while, has shown leadership in deal- tiple National Immunization Days and
ing with the growing problem of a movement-based approach backed
child abuse and commercial sexual by strong governmental commitment,
exploitation of children. It has set up both China and Lao PDR reached the
a Child Protection Unit in partner- goal of polio-free status by the end of
ship with UNICEF, the British High 2000.22 Cambodia has gained the same
Commission and the NGO Soropti- status, succeeding in eliminating polio
mist International. Officers of the unit in three years despite huge obstacles.
have been trained and sensitized over In 2000, the country showed a partic-
a two-year period by child-protection ular commitment to spreading the
experts from the United Kingdom and benefits of immunization to people
hundreds of children have already ben- in remote, underserved areas, reach-
efited from the greater understanding ing more of these – 65 per cent – than
the unit has fostered. Meanwhile, the ever before.23 In Thailand, meanwhile,
Government has also made substantial immunization is all but universal:
efforts to tackle child abuse at other The Government sustains the vac-
levels, with an expansion of its early cination programme out of its own
childhood development (ECD) pro- budget and has stressed that it is
grammes and extensive ‘better par- capable of ensuring that no children
enting’ education schemes.20 under five die of vaccine-preventable
Some national governments have diseases. The goal of freedom from
shown leadership by recognizing the polio has also been achieved by
paramount importance of a particu- Pacific Island Nations, which are also
lar policy and moving heaven and well placed to eliminate measles and
earth to bring it about. The decision neonatal tetanus – seven countries in
by Malawi in 1994 to guarantee uni- the region have achieved and main-
versal free primary education was just tained 90 per cent immunization
such a case. This was an enormously coverage.
popular move that resulted in school On a more general level, in recent
attendance skyrocketing from 1.9 years there have been national gov-
million to 2.9 million. The school ernments that have demonstrated
system is still straining to meet the leadership in attempting to protect
demands – but the fee-free schooling the rights and improve the lives of
remains in place. As might be ex- children – and other national govern-
pected, moreover, a government that ments that have a distressingly poor
shows such a commitment to human record. Oman’s reduction in under-
development in one area is setting five mortality has been spectacular
a similar example in others. Malawi over the last two decades – child
has made women’s empowerment a deaths have fallen from 146 in 1980
priority, formulating a national gender to 16 in 1999, an indication of the
policy in 2000 as well as joining other particular commitment that the Gov-
countries around the world in orga- ernment, and especially its Health
nizing the campaign ‘16 Days of Minister, Dr. Ali bin Mohammed bin
Activism to Stop Violence Against Moosa, has shown to the cause of
Women’. In addition, the Government children’s health.
has sustained immunization levels Jamaica, meanwhile, has shown an
over 80 per cent: There were no cases encouraging willingness to recognize
of measles during 2000 and there have that children need to be placed at the
been no cases of polio since 1992.21 centre of policy and programmes and
Cambodia, China and the Lao Peo- the Government is establishing a Child


Development Agency that will have a of this kind of enlightened and ethi-
broad brief to monitor, evaluate and cal leadership in the world’s fight
set standards. It is also taking the against HIV/AIDS. The Coca-Cola Leaders on
problems of adolescents more seri- Company recently announced that it
ously than ever before by establish- would put its enormous distribution
behalf of
ing a National Youth Development network – which manages to get soft children
Centre and putting a national youth drinks to nearly every nook of the
policy in place.24 African continent – to help bring At 12, Aminata Diallo
Venezuela’s abolition of fees for condoms, testing kits and literature ‘adopted’ some kids in her
hospitals and health centres and of to remote clinics. Coca-Cola is one of Senegalese village who now
enrolment fees for primary education many corporations that have joined regularly receive vaccina-
has been another extremely positive the Global Business Council on HIV tions. “Their names are in
recent move – as has been the incor- and AIDS, an effort to mobilize the my notebook. I’m going to
poration of the Convention on the private sector that is chaired by William track them individually to
Rights of the Child into the Consti- Roedy, president of MTV Networks make sure they don’t miss
tution and the new law for children International and includes such com- an appointment.” Now 22,
and adolescents.25 In Syria, a new ini- panies as AOL Time Warner, MAC Diallo continues to be
tiative to provide second-chance edu- Cosmetics and Unilever.28 dedicated to the cause of
cation for 75,000 adolescent girls is a The Brazilian Government, backed children and has been
practical demonstration of the Gov- by a strong social movement, has managing a children’s
ernment’s increasing commitment to proved beyond doubt that full-scale network.
enhancing the status of women. treatment of AIDS patients is possible
In Cape Verde, the Government in the developing world. Since 1997,
has shown a laudable commitment every AIDS patient in Brazil has re-
to devoting resources to children: ceived for free the same triple cocktails
Throughout the 1990s it dedicated that keep people alive in North Amer-
29 per cent of its budget to sectors di- ica and Europe. This has meant, for
rectly linked to children’s development example, that seven-year-old Emerson,
and has boosted this to 34 per cent in who has had HIV since birth but was
the last two years, hugely outstrip- not diagnosed until he was six, is still
ping the 20 per cent of budgets that living a healthy, happy life. As a re-
the 20/20 Initiative recommends.26 sult Brazil has halved its AIDS death
rate, cut the transmission rate and
stabilized the epidemic.
Corporate leadership But Brazil has only been able to do
But instances of leadership are by no so by making copies of brand-name
means confined to the public sector. drugs, which it has been doing since
The chief executive of a corporation 1998. The cost of those medicines has,
who transcended the narrow criteria as a result, been slashed: The triple
of ‘competitiveness’ or the norms of cocktail in Rio de Janeiro costs $3,000
similar companies by introducing strict a year compared with $15,000 in
ethical standards against child labour New York, and Brazil expects to bring
and in support of families would sim- the annual cost down to as low as
ilarly be setting an example. This kind $700 in the near future.
of private-sector far-sightedness can The strength of Brazil’s social move-
be seen in Cambodia, where Mr. Bun ments in the 1990s resulted in the
Barang, the dealer who controls almost Government adopting and maintain-
all of the country’s salt, has com- ing a radical AIDS policy. José Sarney,
mitted to iodizing 60 per cent of his Brazil’s first civilian President after
production in 2001 and 100 per cent military rule and a Senator in 1996
of that in 2002.27 when he heard about the success of
There is ample room for demon- the triple cocktail, supported it as a
strating that corporations are capable priority even for the poorest: “I saw

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 27
Children of Liberia:
3 Determined to change destiny

where counsellors bring families togeth-

er to work out problems and where they
receive vocational skills training. Zoe
Thomas is one beneficiary of this effort.
The 19-year-old woman works intently at
a foot-powered sewing machine, making
a child’s dress. “I want to be a better per-
son,” she says. “I want to work and help
myself.” Other youth affected by war
have learned to make agricultural tools
out of decommissioned weapons in order

Copyright G. Russell Hill

to help their communities.
Children who were robbed of basic
education because of the civil war par-
take in a UNICEF-sponsored accelerated
learning programme which allows over-
age students to return to school and
make up what they missed. A 22-year-old

iberia still bears the scars of the “Children went and fought with the man in the grade 3 to 4 class declares,
civil war that lasted from 1989 to rebels and they still act like rebels,” “I came back cu’ I wanted to learn. I hope
1997. One hundred and fifty thou- explained Magistrate Perry about juve- to be a medical doctor someday. ”
sand people were killed, 1 million people nile crime in Liberia. In the past, children Entire communities are infused with
internally displaced and 666,000 Liberians who were seen to be problematic were attitudes of optimism and a willingness
were driven from the country. Perhaps placed in detention with adults and to work, despite past disappointments
most horrifying, however, 15,000 chil- exposed to harsh corporal punishment and hardship. When WHO, UNICEF and
dren – some as young as six years old – and abuse. This, however, only served to the Liberian Ministry of Health ap-
were trained as soldiers. With so many increase and perpetuate the problem. In proached Bong County to participate in
lives stolen and the country’s infrastruc- response, UNICEF and the Office of the the polio eradication campaign, there
ture destroyed, there seemed little hope Chief Justice launched an effort to reno- was full participation at every level, from
for the children of Liberia. vate courthouses so that they included governments to households. In 2000, six
Yet, somehow, the country has become juvenile hearing areas. Magistrates re- rounds of mass vaccinations were carried
stronger and its people more determined ceived training about juvenile justice. out, and the nation achieved total cover-
and there is no better illustration than the UNICEF sponsored a trip for the Chief age of 90 per cent. Bong County achieved
children themselves, who were once Justice of Liberia to travel to Namibia and an incredible 100 per cent. “We don’t usu-
used as tools for destruction but who South Africa to observe their juvenile jus- ally fail in this county,” beamed the county
now work diligently to improve their lot. tice programmes. By the end of 2000, superintendent.
Sixteen-year-old Solomon is one juvenile justice programmes had been Children are not only assisted but also
example of a youth determined to change established in four counties where play a significant role in assisting others.
his destiny. Once a member of one of detention of minors has been reduced by Radio C’est la Vie, launched in March
the most feared groups of boy soldiers, 95 per cent. 2000, is run mainly by children who,
Solomon now participates in a UNICEF- For the first time in Liberia’s history, “educate both children and adults in a
supported reintegration and life skills juveniles are receiving special consider- wide range of social issues,” explains
programme. Struggling to overcome his ation from the courts. Deputy Inspector Korlu Willie, a ninth grader. For instance,
tragic past, he explains, “I want to get the David White, a veteran police officer in the station “teaches kids how to take
bad, bad things out of my heart.” Asked the town of Tubmanburg, says the train- care of themselves, to listen to their par-
what he hopes for the future, he replies ing he received has made a difference. “I ents. Sometimes we interview girls who
in a soft voice, “I want to go back to school. used to handle children wrong. I would are not going to school and who leave
I want to be born again as a child.” handle them roughly,” he confesses. their parents and get involved with men
Liberia is filled with cases of children “Now, we have been told not to treat and get pregnant. It is good for children
who are being ‘born again’. While civil juveniles as criminals. Treat them as if to speak out because they learn more.
unrest, international sanctions and poor they are your own children.” They listen to other children.”
social conditions continue to create Instead of ‘bad children’, it is ‘bad When the helpless become the helpers,
challenges for children, it is their opti- circumstances’ that are addressed and when the victims become victors, when
mistic spirit that promises the rebirth helpful solutions sought. Youth offend- the children become the saviours, the
they seek. ers are now referred to organizations world must listen. The world must learn.


that most of the medicine in the and a malaria medication at cost to
cocktail would not be available to the 63 of the world’s poorest countries.31
poor, and I felt that we were talking And in a decision long fought for Leaders on
about the survival of the species.”29 by AIDS activists, a group of patent-
Senator Sarney proposed a law guar- holding pharmaceutical companies
behalf of
anteeing every AIDS patient this dropped its challenge to the South children
treatment and the bill passed. At the African law that would allow the pro-
beginning of 1999, Brazil’s economy duction of cheaper drugs. These are Every street child in Addis
was in dire trouble and the Govern- promising, welcome initiatives but Ababa knows Gash Abera
ment came under huge pressure to there is still much more to be done.32 Molla, the foundation started
cut the budget by ditching the AIDS Some private companies have shown by Ethiopian artist and
programme. Supported by civil soci- a different kind of leadership in find- musician Seleshe Demesse
ety, President Fernando Henrique ing a way in which hi-tech, cutting- to fight environmental
Cardoso held firm, sure that the far- edge commerce can serve the needs degradation in the city.
sighted policy had to stand. of the poorest. Finnish mobile-phone Some 13,000 children and
There is ample room for the phar- giant Nokia, for example, has launched adolescents, many of them
maceutical corporations to demon- child-oriented social initiatives in street children, have mobi-
strate their sense of responsibility many countries, including supporting lized to help clean-up the
and imagination in response to the the Little Master newspaper in China, city and to landscape areas
challenges posed by HIV/AIDS. A developing the business skills of South that were former eyesores.
start in this respect has been made by African youth and participating in a
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, which mentoring programme in Germany.
announced that it would sell its “As we share in the belief that preven-
patented AIDS medicines, didanosine tion is better than cure,” the company
and stavudine, for $1 a day to any says, “we take part in long-term pro-
African country working to combat jects aimed at helping young people
the disease with the help of key inter- create a firm foundation for them-
national agencies, including UNICEF. selves and their future.”33 The sale of
The initiative comes in the wake of mobile phones has also benefited
strong local and international pres- Palestinian children: The Egyptian com-
sure. The students of Yale University pany MobiNil donated $140,000 of its
in the United States, for example, proceeds to UNICEF programmes in
launched a major campaign insisting the West Bank and Gaza.34 Meanwhile
that the University, which earns $40 in Bangladesh, GrameenPhone is
million a year by holding the patent donating $2 to UNICEF for every
for stavudine, use its influence to ensure mobile phone sold.35 Cisco Systems
that AIDS drugs were made available Inc. has entered into partnership with
at low cost in Africa and other poor the UN Development Programme to
countries. In addition, an Indian drug create, which is playing a
producer offered to make a generic vital role in building a Global
version of stavudine available at a Movement for Children in the lead-
price so significantly lower that it up to the UN General Assembly’s
could be within the reach of hard-hit Special Session on Children in
health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. September 2001.
More recently still, Pfizer offered It is not only ‘new-generation’,
to make fluconazole – used to treat a hi-tech companies that are showing
fungal brain infection common in leadership for children, however.
AIDS patients – available for free in The Tata Iron Company in India,
the least developed countries and will which was a founding partner of the
spend $11 million to build a training UN Global Compact with the private
centre in Uganda for doctors fighting sector, runs an extensive and inte-
AIDS.30 GlaxoSmithKline announced grated maternal and child health
that it will provide three AIDS drugs programme for both employees and

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 29
Voices “All children should have the right to study,” “The right to enjoy their parents
care,” “the right to play.”
Youth, China

of “The most important thing for me has been the opportunity I have had to
Young express my feelings, to say what I feel, this is the difference with other schools,
where that does not happen.”

People . . . Sara, eighth-grader, Dominican Republic, speaking about her school

“I think that as Salvadorans we have to recognize that the earthquakes of 13

January and February were very hard, and that without the help of the inter-
On changing national community, we would still be looking for solutions that, thanks to
their help, we have already resolved. The responsibility is not that of a man or
a name, we all share it, from the smallest to the biggest…”
the world Rosenberg, 18, El Salvador

with children “Children have the right to experience happy moments, too.”
Girl, 12, Germany

The Universal Declaration of “In my opinion, the worst image of young people in the media is when they
Human Rights recognizes: show that young people are indifferent.”
Efthimis, 15, Greece

■ “the equal and inalienable

“I thought it would be a failure. I thought of myself as an ambassador for teens
rights of all members of everywhere. If I failed people would label the next generation irresponsible and
the human family” useless. I need to prove people wrong.”
Kuheli, 15, India, on a vaccination project funded by
■ that “all human beings
are born free and equal “We as a young people behind our appearances as bad teenagers or good or any-
in dignity and rights” thing, we still need [to] let people know that we still have brain and dare to
speak that we think it is true.”
Seira, 20, Indonesia
■ that childhood is “entitled to
special care and assistance.” [Involvement in decision-making] “gives you a feeling of cooperation, makes
you feel like a grown up, and gives you self-confidence.”
Youth, Islamic Republic of Iran

“[We] want to work with other young people, we also want to be a part of the
Youth, Jamaica

“The teenagers on TV are different with the reality and common of us. They are
splendid and the miniature of adult.”
Ji-Hye, 12, Republic of Korea

“It is good for the children to speak out because they learn more. They listen to
other children.”
Korlu, ninth-grader, Liberia

“We have to work from within and not wait for other people to do everything.”
Youth, Peru

“If I could change one thing about the world, it would be that children and
young people are involved in all decisions that affect their lives. There should
be a shadow youth council for all government councils so that young people can
review and have an input in what goes on in their area.”
Claire, 17, United Kingdom


others who live within a 50-kilometre Let’s demand that it be respected.”
radius of its production headquarters. If a global opinion poll were to be
Tata routinely spends 10 per cent of conducted asking people which liv- Leaders on
its profits on social-service activities.36 ing person on the international stage
best embodied the concept of leader-
behalf of
Personal leadership
ship, it is virtually certain that Nelson children
Mandela would come out near or at
The idea of leadership is normally asso- the top. The former President of Twenty-four-year-old
ciated more with individuals than South Africa has been an inspiration journalist Kodjo Djissenou
with organizations. It is important to to people all over the world not merely has been a human rights
recognize that the most inspira- because of his leadership of a trans- leader and activist for half
tional examples of leadership are parently just cause – the enfranchise- of his life: In 1994 in his
often those by ordinary people who ment and liberation of black people native Togo he founded
through their extraordinary actions in his country from apartheid – nor La Conscience, an NGO that
show what is possible (see Panel 3). even because of the immense self- educates and organizes
Individuals who use their celebrity sacrifice involved in spending 27 years for human rights and
and popular respect for the greater in prison for his profoundly held democracy. La Conscience
social good can also have a huge principles. Since his retirement from is also the name of the
influence. A classic example of this the presidency ‘Madiba’ (as he is re- newspaper he publishes
kind of leadership on behalf of chil- spectfully known) has continued to that is written entirely by
dren came in October 1999 when 23 work tirelessly for the mass of people young people. “If there
of the leading intellectuals in Latin who are denied their rights, using his is hope for change,”
America and the Caribbean issued a immense moral presence on the Djissenou says, “it lies
moving and outspoken manifesto international stage for good – notably with the nation’s young
challenging governments and citi- in attempting to resolve conflict and people.”
zens throughout the region to put build peace in many quarters of the
aside their differences and establish a African continent.
‘social pact’ for the region’s 192 mil- Along with Graça Machel, a former
lion children and adolescents. The Minister of Education in Mozambique
group – which included writers Carlos and a world leader on the issue of
Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Elena children caught up in armed conflict,
Poniatowska and Ernesto Sábato – Madiba has dedicated himself to the
warned of the dire consequences for cause of children’s rights. With UNICEF
all if business as usual continues. “In and other key children’s agencies,
Latin America,” said Uruguayan writer Machel and Madiba aim to enlist the
Eduardo Galeano, “the majority of commitment of world leaders to do
children are poor, and the majority of whatever it takes to deliver a world fit
the poor are children. Society uses them, for children. “The future of our chil-
punishes them, sometimes kills them: dren lies in leadership and the choic-
it almost never listens to them and it es leaders make,” they have said. “We
never understands them.” The Chilean call on those we have called on before
novelist Isabel Allende added: “Mil- to join us in a new global partnership
lions of children die of neglect that is that is committed to this change. We
cruelly tolerated by society. And we invite those whom we have never
are all part of that society. You and I. met to join us in the global move-
Our governments have all ratified the ment for children.” 37
Convention on the Rights of the Child.

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 31
“To change the
world with children”
ince the earliest days of its existence, UNICEF
has called the world’s attention to the situation of
children – to the many of them bruised by the
operation of national societies and the global economy,
to the ways in which they have suffered because of
their parents’ poverty, to how their health has suffered
through lack of food or immunization and their devel-
opment through poor health, abuse and neglect, and
lack of education – and has taken action to offset the
damage. During the 1980s, UNICEF focused its energies
on the child-health revolution, driven by the knowledge
that easy-to-understand processes such as immuniza-
tion, breastfeeding and oral rehydration therapy would
save the lives of millions of infants. The achievements
were remarkable, demonstrating that when political will,
knowledge and resources converge, seemingly intractable
problems could be solved.

A young girl being measured for a

school uniform in Rajasthan, India

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 33
Educate every child:
4 The dreams of Nagaland

n the remote, hilly north-eastern children and college youth, they realized
corner of India bordering Myanmar “these are the people with the biggest
lies Nagaland, a tiny state em- stakes in the future…. Many of them were
broiled in nearly a half century of contin- quite clear about the kind of future they
uous conflict. The population of 2 million long for and the clarity of their thinking
is tired of violence, threats of extortion zapped us! Clearly we were hearing and
and living in fear. A fragile ceasefire has experiencing their cry of anguish.”
existed for the last three years. One col- In a second workshop, two polls of
lege student today writes, “I can recall both interviewers and interviewees were
peace only when I was a small child – not conducted on the 10 imperatives of the
after that.” Rallying Call for Children. ‘Educate Every
With the support of the Chief Secre- Child’ was foremost in everyone’s mind,
tary of Nagaland, the highest-ranking followed by ‘Care for every Child’, ‘Fight
bureaucrat in the state, a series of action HIV/AIDS’ and ‘Listen to Children.’
research workshops were initiated in “Children are the leaders of tomorrow –
Nagaland early in 2001 to create change. so we must educate them properly if
In the workshops, individuals are asked we are to be led properly,” wrote one
to ‘Imagine Nagaland’ by focusing on respondent.
what they want for their state rather than clearly focused on the future rather than And a student echoed with, “I imagine
on the problems they currently face. the past. Children were concerned that a Nagaland where people have less com-
Participants move through a four-phase “Nagaland needs more freedom from plaints and criticism, children [are]
cycle of interviews – Discovery, Dream, violence.” They spoke about community eagerly involved in school because of the
Design and Destiny. Over 1,000 inter- development as being more important good facilities and extra-curricular activi-
views have already been conducted and than individual development. They ap- ties, villages [are] involved in their own
20,000 more are planned. Each interview pealed for parks and sports fields. And development and everyone [is] involved
is to generate six additional interviews, they expressed the need for primary edu- and aware of their cultural heritage.”
setting off a ripple effect that will reach cation because, as they put it, “even a Will the dream stories that are told,
into every corner of Nagaland society, building without a strong foundation can retold and interpreted ultimately influ-
engaging adults and children in the com- fall.” One student wrote: ence the inner dialogue of the people of
mon cause of creating their new society. Nagaland, and will such internal change
In April 2001, more than 70 participants O’ future Nagas, let’s stop this evil give greater momentum to the social
drawn from diverse stakeholder groups Let there be peace again change that is needed? Yes, according to
and originating from eight districts gath- Stop the gun culture, it’s not ours one college youth who wrote in a letter,
ered for a “Discovery Phase” workshop. For we cannot survive in this pool of “Obviously, what we are facing now
They represented ‘Nagaland glue’ – Hatred, conflict and corruption. would be the consequence of what our
junior, middle and senior government predecessors had already committed. So
officials, media, teachers, legislators and By the end of the first day, the young it is the right time to reshape our society
NGOs, including church leaders and people’s honesty and eloquence, repre- again. Or else the future situation will
human rights activists. But importantly, sented in paintings, slogans and poems, again be the result of the present, and we
almost one third of the participants were had jolted the adults. Children summed will be held responsible for that.”
children and young people from different up what they had “more of” in compari-
tribal origins. For many of the adults, this son with the maturity, experience and
was their first experience of interacting responsibilities of adults. “We’re more
on an equal footing with the younger educated, more creative, more sincere
generation. and courageous and we’re more action-
Initially young people and adults oriented.” Their wish-list was clear –
began visioning exercises separately. peace, unity, reforestation, more state
When asked “What gives life to Nagaland?” advances in science and technology and
adults spoke of their sense of pride in guaranteed employment on leaving school.
their rich cultural heritage, their stoic Writing in the local Northeast Herald
acceptance of the current situation, their newspaper, a group of participating jour-
classless and casteless society and strong nalists commented, “Some of us who
religious convictions and their yearning thought we knew what the problem in
“Imagine Nagaland” logo created by Ms. Abokou Metha,
for peace and development. Naga society is discovered that we didn’t a college student attending the Regional Meeting leading
The younger group appeared more know nearly enough.” Listening to school- to the Special Session on Children.


And then, the Convention on the and contributing member of a family,
Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989 community and society. It is becom-
by the UN General Assembly and ing evident that when adults interact Leaders on
entered into force a year later, pro- with children in ways built on respect
foundly changed the world’s engage- for their rights, everything changes.
behalf of
ment with children. Just like the This has been the quiet but vital children
Universal Declaration of Human Rights drama played out in every country of
in 1948, the Convention articulated the world over the last decade: children “Only a healthy society
something fundamental about human- learning about their rights and fami- can generate healthy
ity’s sense of itself and acted as a lies and communities learning how to companies,” says Brazilian
watershed and reference point for all embrace the principle of child rights Oded Grajew, who founded
future generations that had never been and to change their attitudes and Instituto Ethos, an associa-
there before. The Convention pre- behaviours to match (see Panel 4). tion of companies dedicated
sented a coherent vision of children’s to developing socially
rights and how society should provide responsible business, and
for them – expressed in the terms of a
Children’s participation
Fundaçao Abrinq, a child
legal document that asked national The child’s perspective is not an add- rights organization that
governments to sign up to those terms on: The world looks different from promotes child-friendly
and thereafter be held accountable his or her vantage point. Children’s companies.
for them. participation changes thinking and
The Convention is transforming alters the design of projects and pro-
the landscape not simply because rati- grammes. “If you listen to children,
fying governments have acknowl- you do things better.” 38
edged a legal responsibility, but also When PLAN International UK
because the acceptance of the idea of started a housebuilding programme
child rights creates its own dynamic. in Guatemala, for example, it at first
The world’s understanding of children intended to build houses with one
is changing. Seen through the Con- room. But following consultation
vention’s lens, the child is an active with the families who were going to UNICEF/93-1728/Lemoyne/China

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 35
5 Young Palestinian leaders

hrough panoramic glass windows Palestinian region. Begun in 1998, the “At PYALARA hope takes a more con-
of a sun-drenched office, young 16-page monthly newspaper, with a cir- crete form,” explained Saleem Habash,
Palestinian men and women look culation of 7,000, is written in English an 18-year-old from Ramallah and one of
out over one of the main crossroads near and Arabic. The students, with training the youth founders of PYALARA. “We real-
Jerusalem. They watch the heavy traffic and guidance from staff and volunteers, ize our sense of purpose and belonging,
pass by and reflect on their lives. They craft the periodical from story ideas we prioritize our needs and concerns and
have reached a stage where choices have through final production. With a newly learn how to act upon them, we acquire
to be made. There will be lifestyles to fol- designed website <>, the skills in media and communication and
low, skills to learn, a future to plan. paper is now available throughout the learn how to spread awareness and open
They have come here – to the world. direct means of dialoguing with our
Palestinian Youth Association for Leader- More than 2,000 young Palestinians peers in Palestine and elsewhere, and we
ship and Rights Activation (PYALARA) – to have submitted their writings to PYALARA, learn ways of helping out our families,
join with others facing similar life deci- reaching out to the national, regional and peers, society and above all, ourselves.”
sions and to seek some peace from the international reader. In a world of journal- The ‘We Care’ project came as a break-
horrors of conflict. At a time when many ism where adult voices control the high- through providing for the emotional
young Palestinians express fears that est notes, the pens and voices of these needs of children and young adults going
there is nothing more to lose; that they young Palestinian writers try to press on through the psychological turmoil of the
see no reason for living or working or the right chords. This year the journalists violence that pervades their lives. “We
studying; that they feel helpless and are preparing a book with the working are the ‘children of the stones’ as the
voiceless; PYALARA offers an alternative. title ‘Young voices from Palestine’, intro- media calls us but we are not made of
With support from UNICEF, Cordaid (the ducing to the world first-hand accounts stone! We have broken hearts and misty
Netherlands), Friedrich Naumann Founda- of the lives of young Palestinians. eyes (not necessarily from tear gas!). Our
tion (Jerusalem), European Union, Foun- But these young people are more than loved ones are missing and our families
dation for Middle East Peace and other journalists; they are young Palestinian are torn apart. The shelling on our cities,
organizations, PYALARA draws approxi- leaders. Recognizing the physical and villages and camps left deep scars but
mately 150 youth, 14–22 years old. psychological toll of the political situa- not only on the crumbling walls,” were
“We do not aim at converting young tion, PYALARA launched an outreach the words of some young Palestinians.
people, but we work hard to show the component called ‘We Care’. This project With the help of UNICEF, a group of
majority of our young people a way out,” trains college students in individual and Palestinian ministries and NGOs decided
said Hania Bitar, the director general of group counselling, helping youth to help to bring some happiness into the hearts
the Association. “Noam Chomsky sees youth. With their willingness to give of Palestinian children on the occasion of
creativity and not acquisitiveness as the support, young adults eventually suc- the Palestinian Child’s Day, 5th of April.
most fundamental human need. We aim ceed in raising the spirits of their peers Under the logo ‘We want our childhood’,
at making our young members play an by releasing their tension, discussing their PYALARA’s young members designed,
active role in serving their country and in psychological, emotional and other prob- worked on and presented special TV epi-
expressing their love and nationalism in a lems and offering tangible solutions. sodes for children that were broadcasted
creative and constructive way,” she added. “When Ramallah was bombarded two throughout April. According to Hania
PYALARA emphasizes empowerment days ago, I held my little sister closely…I Bitar, the message was clear: “In order to
through communication and media skills, shut her ears with my hands…I did not survive, persevere and preserve the
ongoing workshops on leadership and want her to hear the shooting and the quality of our lives, we need to allow a
children’s rights, peer solidarity and coun- bombardment…. I failed…she left me and space for laughter, for childhood and for
selling. As one of several community rushed to my mom who herself was innocence.”
service projects, it supports student crying hysterically and feeling helpless,”
journalists who publish The Youth Times, explained Dima, an 18-year-old, first-
the first and only youth paper in the year student at Birzeit University.


live in them, it was decided to opt four- and five-year-olds were asked to
for a more expensive model with two produce a mural depicting their local
rooms. Why? Because the consulta- environment as it currently was and Leaders on
tion had involved not just the adults then as they would like to see it. The
in the family but also their children. researchers found, to their surprise,
behalf of
Girls told the researchers that they did that the children objected to having children
not want to have just one room in play areas covered with grass. Why?
which everyone would sleep because The children preferred concrete because In Sierra Leone, activist
“then we get touched in places we grass made it difficult for them to see Father Berton Giuseppe, a
don’t want to be touched.” broken glass, dog excrement and nee- 69-year-old Italian national
In a further example, PLAN was dles discarded by drug addicts.40 who has dedicated the last
involved with a poor community in When it comes to designing proj- 30 years to child protection
Nairobi. The adult starting point was ects to benefit adolescents there is and reintegration, has only
that the community’s children needed something seriously wrong if their one motto in life: to work
better school buildings. But when the own views are not actively sought with children and for
children were consulted separately and taken into account (see Panel 5). children.
they came up with their own list of The Bangladesh Rural Advancement
priorities. Yes, they wanted school Committee (BRAC) has experienced
buildings, but more than that they the value of this kind of consultation
wanted schools in which they were not over two decades of experience. Not
beaten and where the teachers actu- only has the input of adolescent girls
ally showed up; they wanted streets fundamentally changed the character
without so much rubbish; fathers who of BRAC’s schools and programmes,
didn’t come home drunk; and protec- but it has also shattered the original
tion from sexual abuse. perception of the NGO’s workers that
As in this case, children’s messages such village girls would be more in-
can be uncomfortable for adults – but terested in marriage plans than in
the more uncomfortable the message learning – indicative of the cultural
the more likely it is that it would not traditions and expectations that con-
have been understood or predicted strain children’s participation and
without children’s perspectives being consultation in many regions of the
directly sought. This is particularly so world. Adolescent girls now train
in the case of physical or sexual abuse, with BRAC as teachers and reading
which researchers have found to be centre coordinators – and as photog-
a consistent theme in surveys that raphers.41 On a national level, adoles-
have carefully consulted children. cents in Bangladesh are being offered
When UNICEF in Suriname consulted a voice on television: The new private
primary-school-age children during a channel, Ekushey Television (ETV),
child rights promotion campaign in runs a news programme presented by
Marowijne in July 1999, it found that teenagers called Mukto Khobor.42
among the most significant abuses In Guatemala, youth groups suf-
were those involving corporal punish- fered particular persecution during the
ment. As a result, during 2000 it or- periods of dictatorship and youth
ganized follow-up activities aimed at organizations remain weak. But there
building adults’ skills in disciplining are signs of a renaissance and, given
children both at school and at home that youth organizations provide
without recourse to physical violence. adolescents’ main experience of
In addition, adults attended two stress democracy, their strengthening will be
management workshops designed to an essential buttress to future human
help them develop self-control.39 rights in the country. Their experience
It can even be well worth consult- can be inspirational – not least in their
ing children of pre-school age. In a effect on their own members’ lives. In
poor district of London, a group of the town of Villa Nueva, for example,

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 37

6 Children’s opinion polls

early 40,000 children between the of the children thought that voting in
ages of 9 and 18 in 72 countries elections is ineffective.
across East Asia and the Pacific, When polled on what they would ask
Europe and Central Asia, and Latin of social institutions such as the Church,
America and the Caribbean were the sub- their mayor, government and laws, Latin
ject of extensive interviews over the last American and Caribbean children listed
two years, as UNICEF set out to systemati- helping the poor and needy as one of
cally collect their thoughts and opinions their two top concerns. Almost half the
on matters that affect them most. In one of children polled in CEE/CIS and Baltic
the largest multi-country surveys of chil- States wanted their country to be a place
dren’s opinions ever carried out, UNICEF with a better economic situation and
queried young people on such topics as where everybody has a job. Children in
school, violence in their lives and their all the polling regions asserted their

UNICEF/Dominican Republic/Perera
expectations of government. The findings right to be loved.
offer a uniquely valuable perspective on
the state of the world’s children through Violence in and outside
the eyes of the world’s children.
of the home
In Europe and Central Asia, 6 out of 10
The right to education
children reported violent or aggressive
About half the children in Europe and behaviour at home and just over one
Central Asia and in Latin America and the quarter of those interviewed in Latin
must not go near an infected person was
Caribbean say they go to school in order America and the Caribbean complained
around 20 per cent. Four per cent of the
to learn. Almost 60 per cent in Latin of a high level of aggressive behaviour,
respondents said that HIV can be trans-
America and the Caribbean sponta- including shouting and beatings, in their
mitted by touching someone infected
neously brought up the right to educa- homes. In East Asia and the Pacific, 23
with HIV. In Thailand in the East Asia and
tion when asked about their rights, and per cent said they are beaten by parents
over 40 per cent wanted laws to protect Pacific region, the rate rises to 10 per cent.
at home, and in some places like
that right. In East Asia and the Pacific, Cambodia (44%), East Timor (53%) and
UNICEF found that half of those polled Myanmar (40%), the rates are even higher. Social justice and peace
spontaneously mentioned education as a Nearly one in five of the children inter-
child’s right, and, not surprisingly, that viewed in Europe and Central Asia felt Over half the interviewees in Europe and
school was the main topic of children’s their neighbourhood was unsafe to Central Asia believed that children from
conversations with friends. walk around in. In the Latin America and poor families are discriminated against,
When children in Europe and Central Caribbean region, the feeling of insecuri- and 46 per cent thought that disabled
Asia were asked what they would tell ty was even higher at 43 per cent; about children are treated unfairly. In Western
their teachers if they could say what they 15 per cent of the children interviewed have and Central Europe, over 40 per cent felt
thought, 20 per cent said they would ask themselves been victims of a robbery. that children of different ethnic groups
for better teacher-student relations. In are treated unfairly in their country. In
Latin America and the Caribbean, a nega- Latin America and the Caribbean, about
tive relationship with their teachers was
HIV/AIDS 12 per cent of the children polled listed
linked with perceived authoritarian atti- Only 15 per cent of the 14- to 17-year- the right not to be discriminated against
tudes and the lack of space for children olds interviewed in the East Asia and as one of the laws they would make to
to express themselves. Pacific region claimed to know “a lot” help children and adolescents.
about HIV/AIDS. Over half of UNICEF’s In the Latin America and Caribbean
interviewees in CEE/CIS and Baltic States, region, one out of five children wished for
Seen, heard and loved a country at peace, with an even higher
and 40 per cent in Western Europe, say
Over half the children interviewed in they have very little or no information on figure of 50 per cent in the Andean coun-
Latin America and the Caribbean felt HIV/AIDS. One third of those interviewed tries. And in Europe and Central Asia,
they are not heard, either at home or in in Latin America and the Caribbean feel about 40 per cent of the children polled
school. In Europe and Central Asia, over uninformed about sex education, HIV/AIDS by UNICEF said their desires for a country
60 per cent said their opinion is not suffi- and drug abuse. In countries like Ecuador, without crime or violence and a country
ciently taken into account by their gov- Guatemala and Panama, the percentage where there would be peace eclipsed their
ernment. Only 30 per cent felt they can of children who wrongly believed that in desire for full employment and a better
trust their government. Close to 20 per cent order to avoid becoming infected one economic situation.


the Iqui Balam youth group comprises ethnic groups. It is assumed that chil-
around 50 members of two rival gangs. dren and their interests will be repre-
Following the death by cocaine of a sented and safeguarded by adults, Leaders on
gang leader’s younger brother, the whether by their parents, their teach-
group rejected violence and started to ers or other authority figures. But,
behalf of
engage in theatre, music and commu- children have no right to vote or to children
nity-health activities. They are now political representation nor any access
reaching a good artistic standard and to the courts (see Panel 7). In many Candlelight for Health and
are developing pieces drawn from per- countries they remain the only peo- Education is one of the few
sonal experience so as to communicate ple whom it is lawful to hit. Their organizations that has
messages about family violence, drug views are rarely solicited or expressed actively encouraged
abuse and AIDS. The group is becom- in the media in any meaningful way. women’s participation
ing an NGO with UNICEF support, No one is assuming that young in social programmes in
and offering training in leadership as children should be given the vote: Somalia, largely due to
well as in small business management. Article 12 of the Convention on the the efforts and leadership
Yet the systematic soliciting of chil- Rights of the Child says clearly that of its founder, Shukri
dren’s and adolescents’ opinions has “in all matters affecting the child, the Ismail, an articulate and
hitherto been rare. In an attempt to views of the child [should be] given dynamic leader who runs
garner their views in a more system- due weight in accordance with the Candlelight’s on-the-ground
atic way, UNICEF has embarked on age and maturity of the child.” Yet it operations.
a series of regional youth opinion is odd, to say the least, that all over
polls, with the long-term aim of con- the world adolescents can be married
structing a database that will help the or sent to war years before they are
organization evaluate whether chil- allowed to take part in elections. And
dren’s rights are being respected43 (see in a democracy children’s lack of vot-
Panel 6). ing power can mean that elected rep-
resentatives take no notice of children’s
Discrimination against interests. The net result can be disas-
trous for children. Over the past 20
years, for example, there has been a
Hearing children’s voices in this way growth in child poverty in almost
will make it clearer how the world every country in the European Union
needs to change if it is to respect their and the proportion of public expen-
fundamental rights. The flipside of diture on children has diminished –
this is that the lack of interest in con- at a time when there has been a con-
sulting children hitherto has left them sistent period of economic growth
invisible to policy makers at all levels during which overall wealth has
of society and, as European Parliament increased.
President Nicole Fontaine has said, The answer must be two-pronged.
children’s invisibility has “an inher- Recognizing the likelihood of discrim-
ently discriminatory impact.” 44 ination, even of an indirect and non-
The idea that children are discrim- malicious kind, governments must
inated against is a shocking one when set up specific mechanisms to ensure
people first encounter it. Even vet- that their policies and programmes
eran activists for children’s rights may respect child rights: Some countries
balk at the idea. After all, our first have appointed ombudspersons to
reaction is to object since children devise specific mechanisms for taking
are appealing: they evoke a natural account of the views and perspectives
sympathy in us. How could there be of children and adolescents. In Bolivia,
such discrimination? Offices for the Defence of Children
Discrimination against children is have been set up in 158 municipali-
usually less direct, less naked than ties, and the goal is to establish at
that, for example, against racial or least one in each of the country’s 314

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 39
Voices “I think we young people don’t listen to the elders because in most cases they

of preach water and drink wine which I think is not fair.”

Youth, Africa

Young “Most of the campaigns don’t involve young people in the design . . . maybe this
is why they don’t work, because they’re just adult ministry of health campaign.
People . . . They’re just not cool!”
Youth, Africa

“In Azerbaijan parents often oppose, while children welcome sex education.”

On Youth, Azerbaijan

“But just knowing about HIV/AIDS is not sufficient to change the way we
HIV/AIDS behave. There is another factor: power. AIDS preys most on those who lack
power, and girls are the most vulnerable. They are often pressured or forced into
having sex, or are denied information they need to help them make informed
■ Half of all new cases of HIV decisions. Girls frequently lack the skills to negotiate with boys or men and the
confidence to challenge them; girls fear that being too assertive will make them
occur in young people 15 to
unpopular. Even when a girl makes an informed decision, she may be unable to
24 years old. negotiate safe sex.”
Hortense, 19, Côte d’Ivoire

■ There are an estimated 1.4 mil-

lion children under the age of “They [the neighbours] all know. They assume that we are also HIV positive.
People used to really like my mother. Her brothers would help her – and through
15 living with HIV worldwide. an NGO she was able to get free testing. That is how she found out she was
HIV positive. She then had us tested because she was worried that we would
■ 80 per cent of children under also be infected. Thank God we are all negative. Our neighbours are not like
the age of 15 living with HIV before – they have distanced themselves. They should be distancing themselves
are children living in Africa. from the virus, not from us.”
Ammanuel, 13 and orphaned by AIDS, Ethiopia

■ 4.3 million children under “They [our relatives] want to split us up. They want us to be their servants. No
the age of 15 have died from one has suggested a way to keep us together and help us. They have picked who
AIDS since the beginning of they want to take – to make us work for them – not to help us. And we are not
the epidemic. willing to be separated. We want to stay together. We would rather eat nothing
but beans, as long as we are together.”

■ More than 13 million children Yemisrach, 21, Ethiopia, whose parents died of AIDS

aged 14 or younger have been

orphaned by AIDS. “I have to say that even though I get lots of information about AIDS, I always
have the feeling that it concerns somebody else and that it isn’t a direct problem
for me.”
Lucie, 15, Central and Eastern Europe

“One thing [is] for sure, I want to do things that benefit others. The most urgent
need these days is to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, for it is killing our
country. Young people can play a big part in this prevention by helping one
another stay HIV negative. Youth also meet to engage in constructive activities,
working to improve their communities.”
Teleza, 13, Malawi

“We are normal human beings, we can walk and talk.”

Nkosi Johnson (now deceased), 12, South Africa

“I still get sad, but I want to live to see my daughter grow up – I want to live
for my daughter.”
Lan, early 20’s and HIV positive, Viet Nam


municipalities. These offices have been of Moldova – are blazing a trail in
active in denouncing abuses that would this regard. In Moldova there is not
previously have gone unnoticed, as only an elected Children’s Parliament Leaders on
in a recent case involving the sexual that includes representation for insti-
abuse of an indigenous girl by 11 sol- tutionalized children but also elected
behalf of
diers where the mobilization of public youth councils which work in collab- children
opinion and the local media resulted oration with the country’s 18 local
in a prosecution that in the past would administrations to involve young peo- Rodwell Jacha of Image
have been extremely unlikely.45 ple in the decision-making process.46 Africa Advertising turned
However, governments must also In Azerbaijan, meanwhile, the Youth his private-sector savvy to
find ways of taking more serious ac- Forum not only allows adolescents to benefit a public cause: the
count of the views of children – and make recommendations to the Ministry fight against child sexual
of adolescents in particular. The pro- of Youth and Sports, but in 2000 it abuse. A media campaign
liferation of youth parliaments, for also came up with its own recommen- in Zimbabwe on the Day of
example, is an important develop- dation to Parliament that a group of the African Child 2000
ment. But these must be seen not young people should be attached as raised awareness on the
simply as an educational exercise for consultants to the Social Policy Com- issue of child sexual abuse
the children and adolescents involved mission. In addition, Azerbaijan has a and increased the demand
(as is often the temptation) but as higher than average proportion of for more child-friendly
important democratic institutions in young people who have been elected information on child
their own right. Some of the emerg- as Members of Parliament, including abuse and HIV/AIDS.
ing democracies of Eastern Europe the chairperson of the Children’s Or-
and the Commonwealth of Inde- ganization.47 In Africa, too, children’s
pendent States – notably Albania, parliaments are an idea whose time
Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic has come, having been launched in


T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 41
Voices “Many adults had supported the Mandate [for peace in Colombia] because they

of saw it as an educational exercise to help Colombian children learn about good

citizenship. Instead, by voting in such huge numbers, and by showing that we
really understood what the war was doing to us, we taught adults a lesson –
Young they were the ones who had been letting us down. They were the ones who had
not taken part in elections, had given us a weak government and had allowed
People . . . the war to continue.”
Mayerly, 16, Colombia

“My mother, younger siblings and I fled Senafe together when the air bombard-

On conflict ments started. We headed straight to the mountains like everyone else and
stayed hidden in the mountain caves for several days. My mother decided I
should continue the flight on my own because my siblings and her would only
slow me down. I was scared and left all alone, but I managed to hitch a ride to
■ Of the 35 million refugees and Adi Keyih. There, I met some older boys I knew from my neighbourhood. I
displaced people in the world, travelled with them all the way to Mai Habar. Now all of us live together in
80 per cent are women and one tent. I have not heard from my mother or siblings. It has now been over
two months.”
children. Mulugeta, 12, Eritrea

■ Between 1990 and 2000, “What I don’t like is the [artillery] shelling. It comes almost every day. The
2 million children were shelling is the reason we had to move the school from the two previous locations.
slaughtered, 6 million injured In our previous location, when the shells started to fall, we had to run into
the caves for shelter. Some people [from the community] have been hurt by the
or permanently disabled and shelling, but no schoolchildren. Still, I’m scared whenever I hear it.”
12 million left homeless
Hadgu, 12, Ethiopia
because of conflict.
“‘The Omagh Bombing’ best friend was killed.… Although, I haven’t got
■ Between 80 per cent and over it, there is now a ceasefire in the North of Ireland, so there has been no
90 per cent of those who die more bombs, except the ceasefire is about to break down, and I now feel scared
or are injured in conflicts are again to know that if the ceasefire breaks down… there will be people only a few
civilians – mostly children hundred miles away being killed monthly, if not weekly, and I feel so helpless
and their mothers. to know that there is people too young to understand why.…”
Briain, 12, Ireland
■ Conflict has orphaned or
separated more than 1 million “When happen conflict in Europe, in Kosovo, almost whole world looked at it
children from their families and listened news. But in Africa are happening more serious things and none
does anything. Is that a racism?”
in the last decade of the Robert, 16, Latvia
20th century.
“I want to get the bad, bad things out of my heart. I want to go back to school.
I want to be born again as a child.”
Solomon, 16, Liberia

“The war affects us directly and indirectly…whatever we do, it is with us. We

cannot escape from its reach. Like a rubber ball pushed under water, it will
surface again and again.”
Mahesh, 16, Sri Lanka

“We have been crying to the world and many people come to take photos and
promise to do something, but they never come back and we don’t see any result
in the situation.”
Youth, Sudan

“I would like you to give a message. Please do your best to tell the world what
is happening to us, the children. So that other children don’t have to pass
through this violence.”
Girl, 15, abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
in Uganda who was made to kill a boy who tried to escape

“I do not know why the death of a half a million Iraqi children from sanctions
does not attract more world attention. I think a half of million children is a
whole lot of children.”
Marwa, 10, United States


one form or another in nearly every movement aims to draw in all those
country on the continent. who believe that the rights of chil-
As children attending the January dren must be our first priority: from Leaders on
Preparatory Committee meeting for caring parents to government minis-
the UN Special Session on Children ters, from responsible corporations to
behalf of
said in a joint statement: “We would teachers and child-protection officers. children
like adults to meet the promises they It is a movement that is gathering the
have made to us so that we can aspire kind of momentum and moral force South Africa’s youngest
to a better future.… We also call for that politicians will ignore at their AIDS activist, Nkosi
the participation of children and peril. In all its aspects – including the Johnson, died in June 2001
young people because we know best fact that children are full and neces- at 12 years of age. The
the issues which affect us. We call sary partners – the Global Movement influence of his short life
for our governments to respect our for Children is about leadership. will long be felt. Not only
rights. The Special Session is for chil- Over the months leading up to did he defy the prognosis
dren – you have to hear our voices. the UN Special Session on Children – of nine months to live
After all, if not us, who else is all of which in September 2001 will review by a decade, Nkosi also
this for? Children should be seen and the decade’s work since the World lobbied the South African
heard, not ‘seen and not heard’.” 48 Summit for Children and adopt goals Parliament for equal
and standards for the period ahead – education rights for
The Global Movement this Movement has been mobilizing children with AIDS, result-
support all over the world for a 10- ing in the passage of an
for Children
point agenda that aims to ‘change the anti-discrimination law for
The influence of the Convention on world with children’. Its Rallying Call children affected with AIDS
the Rights of the Child during the proclaims: “We, as citizens of every who want to attend school.
last decade of the 20th century has nation and members of families, com-
been profound – and it continues to munities and civil society organiza-
augment, slowly but surely, with tions of every kind, hereby resolve to
every passing month. Every day new help mobilize a Global Movement for
people come into contact with the Children – an unstoppable crusade to
idea of child rights; every day new end, at long last, the poverty, ill health,
officials in both national and local violence and discrimination that have
government come to terms with the needlessly blighted and destroyed so
implications of their legal duty to many young lives. Our determination
respect children’s rights; every day is rooted in the knowledge that in
more children and adolescents gain furthering the best interests of chil-
ground in exercising their right to be dren, the most effective actions must
listened to and to shape their world come from within the context of our
by changing the perspectives of the own lives and hearts, and from lis-
adults around them. This ground- tening to children and young people
swell of opinion and activism for a themselves. As members of the human
common purpose is bringing into being family, each of us is responsible. All of
a global movement composed of chil- us are accountable.”
dren and their families and those who This message is being taken into
care about child rights. villages, towns and cities all over the
To help give this burgeoning mass world in a massive grass-roots cam-
movement a public voice, six leading paign in which UNICEF is playing a
organizations that work with children – major role. Young and old alike are
BRAC, Foundation, PLAN being asked to ‘Say Yes for Children’,
International, Save the Children, opting for what they think are the top
UNICEF and World Vision – came priorities for action. The same ques-
together to announce their commit- tion is being asked on the Internet as
ment to building a Global Movement people log on to and
for Children. This inclusive, worldwide offer their support.

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 43

7 Global Movement for Children:

A role for everyone

Note: This Action Matrix is managed by Save the Children on behalf of the Global Movement for Children.


More detailed discussion and ideas ■ President Stoyanov of Bulgaria
for action are also being encouraged signed the pledge in April in Sofia
and the results of this ‘action matrix’ while there was a simultaneous Leaders on
are being collated and analysed by launch in 10 other cities. National
the Save the Children Alliance (see television broadcast the Say Yes
behalf of
Panel 7). The Global Movement web- appeal every day after children’s children
site has been set up and maintained programming and before the main
by – itself a joint public- evening news. In Brazil, Padre Júlio
private venture between the UN Lancelotti has long been
Development Programme and Cisco ■ The launch of Say Yes in Burkina advocating on behalf of
Systems of the kind the Global Faso took place at the Pan-African children and adolescents,
Movement aims to inspire – and Festival of Film and Television in most recently in pushing for
which another founding partner of Ouagadougou. Film-makers present reform of the institutions
the Global Movement for Children, left their handprints in clay as a that house youth in conflict
World Vision, is making a particular graphic way of making their pledge with the law and providing
effort to promote. for children. and protecting housing
The national launches of ‘Say Yes and other services for
for Children’ all over the world begin- ■ In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun HIV-positive women
ning in March 2001 were spectacular Sen launched the campaign in a and children.
for both their diversity and their high special prime-time television broad-
profile: presidents and prime ministers, cast, filling out the first pledge and
musical and sports celebrities, religious urging all Cambodians to follow
leaders and writers joined forces with his example.
thousands of children to reach out to
the widest possible audience. The fol- ■ Chilean President Lagos used the
lowing were among the highlights: Say Yes event to launch a National
Policy and Integrated Plan of Action
■ In Azerbaijan, Say Yes was launched for Children and Adolescents, and
at the International Freestyle Wres- announced that he would be cere-
tling Tournament, because of the monially presented with the results
popularity of the sport in the of months of pledging in mid-August,
country. World Freestyle Wrestling on Chile’s Day of the Child.
champion Namiq Abdullayev was
among the first to pledge. ■ President Gbagbo of Côte d’Ivoire
made the country’s first pledge
■ The President, Prime Minister and before an audience of 2,000 chil-
Leader of the Opposition in Ban- dren, traditional chiefs and business
gladesh all signed pledge forms in leaders who watched young circus
April, demonstrating an impressive artists, singers and dancers as well
cross-party consensus that the cause as listened to the President of the
of children must be a priority. Children’s Parliament.

■ Say Yes was officially launched on ■ In Georgia, the bells of the main
March 26 in Belgium and covered Sameba Cathedral announced the
widely by national media and Say Yes campaign on June 1 as First
youth publications. A group of the Lady Nanuli Shevardnadze led the
country’s leading children’s advo- launch at the Children and Youth
cates joined forces to promote the Palace. With pledge stations around
campaign, with assistance from the the city and young volunteers
Ministry of Education, the Youth distributing pledge forms, 10,000
Movement and others. Pledge forms pledges were received by the end
in Dutch and French were widely of the day. On 12 June, President
distributed. Eduard Shevardnadze signed his

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 45

UNICEF/HQ01-0212/Giacomo Pirozzi
Yes for Children


A victory for hope. The truth is that the world has not been kind
to children. The truth is also that the status quo doesn’t have to
remain the status quo. The ‘Say Yes for Children’ campaign,
launched by UNICEF as one of its contributions to the Global
Movement for Children, has mobilized communities around the
world, encouraging public discussions about the rights of the child
and gathering pledges from millions of people who believe that
every child has the right to live in health, peace and dignity.
Pictured clockwise from top right: UN Secretary-General Kofi A.
Annan; Harry and Julie Belafonte in South Africa; former Prime
Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh
Hasina; Jordan’s Queen Rania;
Graça Machel, Kamo Masilo and
© Crystal George

Nelson Mandela in Mozambique;

and in every photo, children eager
to change the world.

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 47
pledge and announced his com- country and to protect children
mitment to attend the Special from discriminatory treatment. He
Session on Children in September. declared: “We continue to affirm
today that the child is king!”
■ At the launch of Say Yes in Ghana,
President Kufuor promised the Chil- ■ During Mongolia’s Mother and
dren’s Parliament that he would Children’s Day on 1 June, the Pres-
implement free, compulsory basic ident, Prime Minister and Gover-
education and an expanded teacher- nor of Ulaanbaatar all urged the
training programme. country’s citizens to Say Yes. Na-
tional pop star Ariunaa was named
■ Against the backdrop of Haiti’s a UNICEF Special Envoy for Chil-
current political and social turbu- dren and she released a Say Yes
lence, thousands of children and song that she had composed and
NGO representatives heard President performed with other artists on
Aristide commit himself to attend the launch day.
the Special Session on Children and
to ensure education for all by 2004. ■ Royal support was also forthcom-
Children spoke spontaneously and ing in Morocco, where Princess
pleaded for their rights to be re- Lalla Meryem launched a nation-
spected and for an end to violence wide drive on National Child Day
against Haitian children. in May.

■ In Honduras, there was a launch in ■ Say Yes took off in Mozambique on

May and there will be a nation- April 26 at a well-attended launch,
wide vigil organized by the various marked by the participation of 150
religions in the country in August. students, the promise of govern-
The national soccer team is show- mental support from the Ministry
ing its support by playing interna- of Women and Social Welfare and
tional matches while wearing Say the spirited performance of top
Yes T-shirts. female vocalist Julia Mwithu. Na-
tional NGOs have distributed forms
■ Prime Minister Patterson launched and collected more than 50,000
Say Yes on May 1st in a nationwide pledges so far. On June 1, Inter-
radio and television broadcast to national Children's Day, President
kick off Jamaica’s National Child Joaquim Chissano cast his vote be-
Month. The campaign will piggy- fore thousands gathered in Maputo.
back on planned events such as
market days in the country’s capi- ■ On June 1st, in a festive all-day cel-
tal in June, summer camps organized ebration that saw the launch of
by church and community groups five major child-rights initiatives,
and NGOs in July, a national agricul- more than 500 children, parliamen-
tural show in August and a Chil- tarians, teachers and caregivers gath-
dren’s Parliament in September. ered as four South African Cabinet
Ministers logged on to fill out
■ Queen Rania of Jordan launched South Africa’s child-friendly ver-
Say Yes in May and in just 21 days sion of the pledge, called ‘Hear My
the campaign exceeded its target Voice’ <>, and
by gathering 1 million pledges. to launch Say Yes on the new web-
site of the Office on the Rights of
■ President Ratsiraka of Madagascar the Child in the Presidency.
made a personal pledge to ensure
child rights are realized in the ■ Renamed ‘Say Yes to Peace for


Children’, the campaign is gaining at the largest children’s museum in
momentum in Sudan where a Mexico City. The campaign got off
group of artists, led by well-known to a momentous start with chil- Leaders on
actor Ali Mahdi, is preparing to dren voicing the 10 points of the
take a grand ‘March for Children’, Say Yes pledge and several notable
behalf of
stopping at villages on the way to Mexicans making the country’s first children
make theatre presentations and set of pledges.
collect pledges. In southern Sudan – One of the few Ghanaian
one of the most conflict-ridden ■ In West Africa, 300 traditional chiefs women who has studied
and isolated regions in the world – from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, engineering, Akosua
paper pledge forms are being Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria Mfumuwaa founded Akos
distributed and collected through and Senegal signed the Rallying Engineering Service, a com-
schools, medical outreach and im- Call of the Global Movement for pany that makes machinery
munization programmes under the Children. They lent their consider- for the harvest activities
umbrellas of Operation Lifeline able moral and religious authority usually handled by women
Sudan. Pledges are also being col- to an appeal for children’s and who spend long hours
lected in 500 ‘Child Friendly Vil- women’s rights and spoke out for supporting their families.
lages’ in Darfur, Gedaref, Kordofan girls’ education and against early She also trains young rural
and River Nile areas. marriage. women in learning a trade
and starting their own
■ In Tanzania, President Mkapa pre- The launch of the Say Yes cam- businesses.
sided over the official start of Say paign right across the world in 2001
Yes and listened to an impassioned has been a remarkable phenomenon:
plea by children from 20 regions in many cases political leaders have
of the mainland and the island of urgently requested that they be put
Zanzibar for the abolition of school under as much pressure as possible by
fees. their own populations to ‘deliver the
goods’ at the Special Session. It is up
■ The Makednski Posti company in to all of us to ensure that this pres-
the former Yugoslav Republic of sure on our leaders is sustained not
Macedonia provided prepaid post- just through September but in the
cards for distribution through daily years ahead. We can do this by mak-
newspapers and at schools and ing our own individual pledges, add-
community centres nationwide. Top ing our own voices to the swelling
local hip-hop artist Vrcak will be international chorus that is Saying
campaigning for Say Yes through Yes for Children.
to September. None of us is too important or
too insignificant to make a pledge to
■ The regional launch for Central and this cause. As the Global Movement
Eastern Europe, Commonwealth of for Children makes clear: “We are
Independent States and the Baltic calling on every one of you, every-
States took place in Istanbul, Turkey, where, to do as much as you possibly
at a spectacular and colourful tele- can for children in your own time
vised show to celebrate national and in your own way.”
Children’s Day. Children from 41
countries urged the world’s leaders
to make the protection of children
their top priority.

■ In a regional launch, children,

young people and adults from all
walks of society came together on
April 25th to set Say Yes in motion

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 49
Actions that can
change the world
nquestionably, countries with the most power
in the global economy need to show leadership
in the pursuit of child rights. But developing
countries’ disadvantage does not exempt their govern-
ments from the need to demonstrate leadership on
behalf of children. The rights of children are indivisible
and paramount. No society should be satisfied until the
rights of all are guaranteed and respected.

Investing in children is, quite simply, the best invest-

ment a government can make. No country has made the
leap into meaningful and sustained development without
investing significantly in its children. According to the
World Bank, one of the significant reasons, along with
good macroeconomic management, that the countries
of East Asia were so much more successful than those of
sub-Saharan Africa in economic development during the
1970s and 1980s is that they had invested heavily in
children in the preceding decades. They were reaping
the harvest, in other words, of seeds sown in the 1950s
and 1960s in the fertile soil of children’s health, nutrition
and education.49

Mother and son in Tunisia

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 51
Voices “I understand that father had no choice. But why is my brother going to school

of while I cannot?”
Girl, China

Young “Indigenous children are often prevented from having their own identity and
self-image – which prevents them from studying – and their land is taken away
People . . . due to lack of documentation, leaving them without a house or a home.”
Indigenous child, Costa Rica

“Today I work as a servant and live with a family in Arsi Negele. I cannot live
On with my family in the countryside. Girls who escape after being abducted are
not accepted in our culture – they are hated. So instead of living with my family

discrimination and being hated, I prefer to live and work with strangers and continue my
education.… People in the community look at girls like me who have escaped
abduction differently. They talk about what has happened to us and treat us as
though we are not human beings. In my new school, people are OK because they
■ Of the more than 100 million do not know. Those who have heard, however, stay away from me.”
out-of-school youth, 60 million Shegitu, 16, Ethiopia
are girls.
“I feel sad about not having the opportunity to go to school . . . at least I am
■ Between 60 million and 100 being offered the opportunity to learn how to sew, but how I wish I could go to
million women are ‘missing’ school.”
Abena, 13, Ghana
from the world’s population –
victims of gender-based “Youth are definitely paid much less than older people at work. Even if their con-
infanticide, foeticide, tribution is the same or more they are not considered as part of the workforce.”
malnutrition and neglect. Deepti, 17, India

■ 90 per cent of domestic workers, “Youth don’t have equality with adults, women don’t have equality with men,
the largest group of child and disabled people don’t have equality with ordinary people. And this is the
workers in the world, are girls problem of the whole of the world: fighting these types of discrimination. And
between 12 and 17 years old. we are fighting too. I am feeling that I am changing something in this society,
so I don’t feel we have discrimination in this country. Even if we have, okay. But
I feel that we’re going to change it. We’re about to reach equality.”
■ In some areas, HIV infection
Layali, 17, Jordan
rates are five times higher
for girls than for boys.
“As an African youth and a girl, I feel disadvantaged several times not because
of my circumstances but because of the images and stories created by others and
distributed about my life, my past, my dreams and even my future. When the
time comes for me to play a role in the world, there is none left for me because
others’ prejudices, backed up by images which they have selected as ‘African’,
have already determined a place for me without respecting my right to own my
own image.”
Alison, 17, Kenya

“You can’t go in peace to the shops or take a walk. Maybe if I was a boy these
things won’t happen to us.”
Nosie, 15, Namibia

“Imagine in a family where there is a boy and a girl, the girl will do all the work
in the house. If there is any sacrifice to be made it will be the girl that will suf-
fer it, for instance, when the family income is down the girl will be send to go
and hawk, that is to sell things in the streets and along the highway. Most times
they will push her out to an old man or introduce her into prostitution. Even our
mothers are also guilty of this act. This is very wrong, people of the world
should change their attitude towards girls and women.”
Taiwo, 13, Nigeria

52 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
In the 1990s, moreover, UNICEF as part of the 20/20 Initiative at the
studied nine developing countries and World Summit for Social Development
the Indian state of Kerala. All were in 1995. Leaders on
selected for their excellent results in Countries that do not invest enough
health and education, which far sur- in basic social services, that do not
behalf of
passed those of countries facing simi- thereby equip their people to face the children
lar economic conditions. The aim was turbulence – or seize the opportuni-
to find out if there was any common ties – associated with globalization, Teleza Mseche knows that
denominator from which other devel- put themselves at a serious disadvan- AIDS is killing her country
oping countries could learn. The tage. Universal access to these services and that young people have
Governments – those of Barbados, offers a ‘social shock absorber’ for the power to do something
Botswana, Costa Rica, Cuba, Malaysia, travelling the bumpy road to a global- about it. “Young people
Mauritius, the Republic of Korea, Sri ized economy, giving the people who can play a big part in this
Lanka, Zimbabwe and Kerala state – are poor a greater chance of benefit- prevention by helping one
were often very different in their polit- ing and making the whole process of another stay negative,” she
ical orientation, but all had made a globalization more democratic.52 says. At 13, Teleza is the
point of investing in children through chairperson of her school’s
strong state support for basic social anti-HIV/AIDS club as well
services. Thus, each of these countries
Strategic leadership
as president of the local Girl
has consistently spent a higher pro- Decisions by political leaders have Guides chapter. She is one
portion of their national income on profound effects in the private lives of of three young people who
primary education than their neigh- families, from the earliest years of a have represented Malawi
bours and kept primary schooling child’s life through to school age; the at international meetings
free of tuition fees.50 learning years, broadly those of the in Nairobi and New York.
In contrast, recent studies in more primary-school-age range; and the
than 30 countries have shown that adolescent years, when the child is
basic social services receive, on aver- grappling with the full complexity of
age, between 12 per cent and 14 per the world.
cent of total public spending.51 This
is far from adequate: National gov-
ernments should be aiming to spend
about 20 per cent of their budgets on The central importance of early child-
basic social services, a goal accepted hood development (ECD) is much

Figure 1. Under-investment in basic social services


Basic education
ODA Basic health & nutrition
Water & sanitation

0% 5% 10% 15% 20%

Source: OECD Development Co-operation 2000 Report and UNICEF/UNDP 1998

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 53
Giving children the best possible start:
8 Better parenting in Jordan

“ he family is the basic social unit
where the child is reared and nur-
tured.” So states Her Majesty Queen
Rania Al-Abdullah as she charges early
childhood development specialists in
Jordan to design national strategies to
upgrade the way children are cared for.
“Any effort towards early childhood
development should therefore be inter-
woven with a more embracing effort
towards the well-being of the family as a
whole,” says the Queen, “and of women
in particular.”
Queen Rania’s National Team for Early

Childhood Development is working to
identify those areas in need of increased
attention – the earliest years of child-
hood, for example, when children first
develop their abilities to think and learn,
while laying the foundation for their
values and behaviour as adults. The Health; Ministry of Social Development; eries; upgrading kindergarten schooling;
National Team will eventually submit its Ministry of Youth; Noor Al-Hussein Foun- helping parents improve their child-care
recommendations to the Jordanian Gov- dation; UNICEF and UN Relief and Works skills; ensuring that children with disabil-
ernment for ratification. According to Agency for Palestine Refugees in the ities have the services they need; focus-
Queen Rania, “We in Jordan therefore pri- Near East. ing on children who are homeless, beggars
oritize our interventions to focus on The first step was to assemble a or orphans; broadening children’s cultural
equipping our citizens – not only parents nationwide team of trainers in Jordan, horizons; using the media to communicate
and communities, but also youth who are making use of existing agencies and staff child-care messages; upgrading materials
the parents of tomorrow – with the nec- in programmes in order to improve par- in schools; training all child-care workers;
essary parenting and child-care knowl- enting skills and increase knowledge of and upgrading the health care system.
edge and skills. Only then do we fully health, nutrition and children’s cognitive Although much progress has been
capitalize on the talents and potential of and social development needs. Mass made, far too many of Jordan’s poorest
children, who are indeed our future, at media and community outreach strate- and most disadvantaged children have
this critical stage of their lives.” gies were used to reach families and to remained outside of these efforts. Gov-
In Jordan, children are traditionally disseminate information about childcare ernment and civil service workers still
cared for at home until the age of six, in and development. Groups of parents, need to be educated about the crucial
most instances by mothers, older sib- including fathers, met with facilitators to importance of a child’s earliest years.
lings and sometimes by neighbours. discuss areas of concern and to exchange Legislation needs to be passed to protect
Fathers generally have been absent or ideas. Kindergarten and nursery teachers and uphold children’s rights. And more
only slightly involved in raising their chil- were also invited to improve their skills. fathers need to be included in the pro-
dren. In 1996, as part of a long-standing The Better Parenting Project has gramme, so they can better understand
commitment to support community-based achieved remarkable success – after the their children’s needs and better respond
services, UNICEF devised the Better first three years, more than 13,000 par- to them.
Parenting Project. The project reaches ents were reached (12,257 women and For our world to survive and flourish,
parents, teachers and young future par- 960 men). Parents who participated the first step is to give our children every
ents and assists them in developing the gained more confidence in their child- chance they deserve to fulfil their poten-
necessary skills to meet their children’s care skills and noted positive changes in tial. Jordan’s strong commitment to early
needs most effectively. Jordan was one of their children’s behaviour, all for the af- childhood development and its integrated
the first countries to adopt the project as fordable cost of $3.75 per child. approach, with the Government, non-
a pilot, with 10 committed partners on In its work, the National Team for Early governmental organizations and interna-
board – the Community Empowerment Childhood Development has already pri- tional organizations all working together,
Project, Al-Nasir; General Union of oritized the following areas: passing is moving us in the right direction on the
Voluntary Societies; Jordanian Women’s legislation to protect children’s rights; path to a better future.
Union; Jordanian Hashemite Foundation upgrading health care services for preg-
for Human Development; Ministry of nant women; improving childcare at nurs-

54 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
more widely accepted than was the the Convention on the Rights of the
case at the time of the World Summit Child.
for Children in 1990. High-quality Good ECD programmes encompass Leaders on
care in early childhood is a prerequi- all of the child-survival goals with
site of healthy human development. which UNICEF is traditionally identi-
behalf of
It is also a fundamental human right. fied: maternal health, safe childbirth, children
The world’s leaders must ensure that regular postnatal check-ups, immuni-
every child, without exception, has zation, growth promotion through Agnes Pareyio and Leah
their birth registered; that they start breastfeeding, complementary feed- Muuya have traversed
life safe from violence and abuse; that ing, provision of micronutrients and Kenya’s Rift Valley over and
they have sufficient nutrition, clean parental education about nutrition over since 1996, sometimes
water, proper sanitation and health and health. But they extend also into by car, sometimes on foot,
care. And just as importantly, com- the mental, social, emotional and for Tasaru Ntomonok or
munities must ensure that the intel- spiritual development of children in ‘Safe Motherhood Initiative’
lectual and emotional developmental their early years: both the physical to end the tradition of
needs of children are being met; that and psychosocial care they receive female genital mutilation
they are given the requisite stimula- and the stimulation they enjoy. by educating both young
tion and early learning opportunities; With every passing year additional women and men about
and that their parents and other scientific evidence accumulates that the dangerous side
primary caregivers receive enough a child’s start in life goes a long way effects of the practice.
support and information to provide a to determining the quality of life
nurturing and enriching environment they will enjoy throughout child-
(see Panel 8). If national and local hood. There is a growth in under-
governments do not deliver these standing, for example, that learning
things, they will be making a costly starts at birth and is promoted by
mistake – as well as failing their moral positive, nurturing experiences in the
and legal obligations as set forth in earliest years of childhood. In Dalmau,


T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 55
In Malawi: Fighting HIV/AIDS
9 from the classroom

“ void sex,” says 12-year-old Rebecca Within the national strategy to stop the
Abraham. “Avoid boys,” adds her epidemic, the plan is to expand this life
friend. “Don’t share razor blades skills programme to all schools in
or needles,” shouts a boy at the back. Malawi.
It’s 10 a.m. as the class teacher, Because HIV prevalence in Malawi is
Martha Chadzamakono, asks an animated lowest in the 10- to 14-year age group,
group of 10- to 12-year-olds at the classes like Mrs. Chadzamakono’s pro-
Domasi Demonstration Primary School vide a special opportunity to affect the
in Zomba, Malawi, “How do you avoid course of the epidemic. “These children
HIV/AIDS?” Mrs. Chadzamakono is clearly will probably become sexually active
pleased with the responses. Now that the when they are about 13 or 14,” said
most obvious answers have been offered, Ms. Chadzamakono. “At their age, the
only one hand remains raised. Rebecca focus is abstinence. When they’re about
has another answer. 14 or 15 we’ll teach them about safe
“Avoid bars and bottle stores,” the sex.” And she added, “Their parents are
young girl states emphatically. There is happy to know that their children are
no need to elaborate, it seems, as her being taught the truth about HIV/AIDS.”
classmates nod in knowing agreement But the skills learned in these class-
about the potential consequences of rooms have a broader impact than
hanging about in places where alcohol is fighting the spread of the disease, how-
likely to fuel potentially life-threatening ever pressing the need to do that might
sexual behaviour. be. Life skills education provides a foun-
In twice-weekly classes like this, Mala- dation that allows young people to deal
wians as young as eight years old are effectively with the demands and chal-
learning to make decisions, solve prob- lenges of everyday life. Rebecca and her
lems, negotiate with their peers and friends are learning about more than how
assert themselves. Ms. Chadzamakono’s to avoid HIV/AIDS; they are learning
simple question is designed to help about gender relations and about their
these youngsters acquire the knowledge abilities to take control of their lives.
and develop the positive attitudes and “Of course what one has to do is to
skills necessary to reduce their vulnera- empower the women so they are able to
bility to HIV/AIDS. The classroom has stand on their own economically and
become the latest and most natural socially,” says Justin Malewezi, Malawi’s

battlefield in the country’s war against Vice-President and Chairman of the

HIV/AIDS. Cabinet Committee on HIV/AIDS.
In Africa, a continent devastated by One of Rebecca’s chores after school
HIV/AIDS, Malawi is one of the countries is to fetch water from a nearby well. As
worst affected. Every day an average of she walks home with a 20-litre bucketful
267 people in the country are infected of water balanced on her head, she does
with HIV and 139 people die from AIDS- her best to avoid eye contact with a group While Davie’s grasp of how HIV is
related diseases. More than 300,000 of local boys. transmitted is fairly limited, there is a
people are estimated to have died of “I always go for young girls because cavalier logic behind his theory that he is
AIDS-related illnesses since the first they won’t have HIV,” says 18-year-old safe from infection because younger girls
case in Malawi was reported in 1985 and Davie, who lives about 300 metres from are less likely to carry the virus that leads
today around 9 per cent of the 10.6 mil- Rebecca’s house. Davie and his mates to AIDS. What doesn’t seem to weigh on
lion population is believed to be infected Andrew and Anod, both 17, may look his mind as much is the possibility that
with HIV. harmless, but to girls like Rebecca they he might pass the virus on.
Malawi’s Ministry of Education, spell danger. Davie’s current girlfriend is Thanks to her life skills classes, Rebecca
Sports and Culture and the Malawi Insti- only 12, the same age as Rebecca, and is clearer about the situation. “I’m not
tute of Education, with UNICEF support, he says that they have sex about once a scared about getting AIDS because we are
have developed a life skills curriculum week. “I never use a condom because I taught about HIV at school,” she says. It
that is being piloted in 24 primary trust my girlfriend,” he explains matter- is the self-confidence of her answer as
schools reaching about 2,400 students, of-factly. “And if I trust her, then she much as any knowledge about HIV that
evenly divided between boys and girls. should trust me.” offers hope for Malawi’s future.

56 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
India, for instance, ECD programmes improve their own life chances and
increased school attendance by 16 potential but those of their future
per cent, while in Colombia those children and families – and of society Leaders on
who had benefited from early child- as a whole (see Panel 10). Girls’ educa-
hood programmes were shown to be tion has been proven to reduce child
behalf of
twice as likely to complete primary mortality, improve child health and children
school.53 What’s more, investing in nutrition, improve women’s health,
children at the very outset increases and also to reduce population growth, Actor and director Rob
the likelihood of the child reaching given that educated women tend to Reiner founded the I Am
adolescence and being able to contin- marry later and have fewer children. Your Child Foundation in
ue learning while dealing with the Societies that invest in educating girls 1997 to make early child-
challenges of work, sexuality and sur- and boys equally reap huge develop- hood development, the
vival. Government funds invested ment dividends. “Investment in the key years between zero
early in the lives of children, espe- education of girls,” says the World Bank, and three, a priority in the
cially for children at risk, can result “may well be the highest-return in- United States. Since then,
in compensating decreases in expen- vestment available in the developing the Foundation has educated
diture later on for older children and world.” 56 millions and has been influ-
adults. More than just an investment, edu- encing the Government to
If States are to fulfil their obliga- cation is also a fundamental right set increase public spending
tions under the Convention on the out by the Universal Declaration of on early childhood
Rights of the Child they will have to Human Rights as well as the Con- programmes.
stop seeing early childhood care as an vention on the Rights of the Child.
issue of concern to families alone, as What’s more, UNICEF firmly believes
an optional extra, a soft alternative. that improving girls’ education is
Investing in ECD should now be sec- the best and quickest way of tackling
ond nature for the human family, as poverty and of creating more just
natural and inevitable to our lives as societies. It coordinates the UN Girls’
the sun and the rain on a field of rice. Education Initiative, launched by the
UN Secretary-General at both the
World Education Forum in Dakar in
Basic education April 2000 and the Millennium Sum-
The case for investing in basic high- mit in September 2000.
quality education – particularly in The existing African Girls’ Educa-
the education of girls – has been well tion Initiative has proved over
established. Education does more than the last five years that targeted pro-
produce clerks or clerics: It enhances grammes make a real difference.
life and expands opportunities for all. Among the strategies that are working:
The benefits can be seen across the recruiting more women and training
board. Farmers who can read and have teachers to be sensitive to gender and
learned something about finding and child rights; rooting out gender bias
sorting information will be better from textbooks and educational mate-
able to keep pace with developments rials; ensuring that parents and the
in agriculture: A study of 13 low- local community are involved; in-
income countries indicated that a creasing pre-school provision and
farmer with four years of schooling care; ensuring that schools are located
produced an average of 9 per cent where girls can reach them safely;
more food than one who had none.54 providing separate latrines for girls
Education has been shown to act as and boys; and eliminating tuition
a ‘vaccine’ against the twin dangers fees and other costs that deter the
of hazardous child labour and poor from sending their children to
HIV/AIDS55 (see Panel 9). school (see Panel 11).
Girls given the opportunity to go The knowledge is there: After the
to school, moreover, tend not just to last decade of research and experience

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 57
Textbooks by donkey: Educating girls
10 in Badakhsha–n

hildren cluster excitedly ’round
the donkeys as they arrive in this
mountain village in the north-
eastern province of Badakhsha–n in
Afghanistan. This time the donkeys are
carrying not supplies of food, tools or
seeds – this is an area chronically short
of food – but rather educational materi-
als. These books and worksheets have
been on a long journey, first purchased in
Pakistan by staff of UNICEF Afghanistan.
They have been sent in a convoy of trucks
through the mountains into Badakhsha–n,
on a journey made each autumn before
the pass closes in the winter snows.

Once in the province, the Norwegian
Afghanistan Committee (NAC) organizes
distribution of the materials, encourag-
ing communities to take responsibility by
sending donkeys and horses to collect
them from central distribution points.
Roads in Badakhsha–n are few and far
between, and the staff from the local dence of many schools on female staff. education programme aimed at encour-
education department, which surveyed UNICEF’s policy position, along with that aging school attendance, with a particular
every village in advance of the distribu- of many other international organiza- emphasis on girls. In five pilot districts,
tion, did much of their work on horseback tions, is that the denial of girls’ educa- both teachers and students who attend
or on foot, sometimes taking six weeks to tion contravenes the Convention on the school regularly are now receiving a
cover a single district. Rights of the Child. UNICEF has therefore monthly ration of wheat, and girls
But the remoteness of many of these suspended assistance to the formal edu- are being given an extra ration of
mountain communities is far from being cation system in Afghanistan and instead edible oil.
the only obstacle in the way of educating supports non-formal programmes all Programmes like these are having a
the children of the province. Afghanistan over the country that make an effort to quantifiable impact. While in 1993 there
has been ravaged by conflict since 1979. include both girls and boys. were 45,000 children enrolled in school,
Amid the widespread destruction, educa- Children in Badakhsha–n have derived 19 per cent of whom were girls, there are
tion has been very low on the list of some benefit from their remoteness from now nearly 64,000 children in school,
priorities. Even before the war, educa- the capital, Kabul. Despite its general 33 per cent of whom are girls. In addi-
tional opportunities in the country were poverty and susceptibility to earthquake tion, 29 per cent of the teachers in the
extremely limited, particularly outside damage, the province has traditionally province are women, compared with
the major towns and cities. The rate of been more committed to education than 15 per cent in 1993.
gross enrolment in primary school in 1978, most other areas of Afghanistan. In addi- In international terms, these are dis-
just as the conflict began, was 37 per cent tion, Badakhsha–n remains under the con- mal figures – and UNICEF will go on
for boys and just 8 per cent for girls. Two trol of the opposition Northern Alliance, working to give every child in the
decades on, overall enrolment figures are which allows girls to attend school. province, male or female, the educational
no better and the gender divide even This has enabled international agen- opportunity that is their right. The quality
worse, at 53 per cent for boys and an cies to play a part in helping the under- of the schooling in Badakhsha–n, more-
appalling 5 per cent for girls. resourced local education department over, still leaves much to be desired.
The coming to power in 1996 of the – specifically in promoting the educa- But in the context of the conflict in
Taliban, which now controls most of the tion of girls. The provision of educational Afghanistan, and of the comprehensive
country, drastically reduced the already materials has been a key area of assault on girls’ rights in the Taliban-con-
poor educational opportunities for Afghan support. Another has been offering trolled areas, the educational improve-
girls. Formal girls’ schools were closed in training to local teachers, who are only ments in Badakhsha–n are encouraging. If
Taliban-held areas. In addition, women paid around $2 per month – well below a girls’ education programme can make
teachers were not allowed to work, an subsistence levels. In 2000, the World significant strides even here, with the
edict which also had a disastrous effect Food Programme, in cooperation with bleakest conditions imaginable, it can
on boys’ education, given the depen- UNICEF and NAC, started a food-for- make a difference anywhere.

58 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
it is clear what works and what does Adolescence
not. What is required are individuals
who will fight for the funding neces- The third opportunity for making wise Leaders on
sary to extend the opportunities for investments comes during a child’s
learning to all children. The inter- adolescence. The adolescent years are
behalf of
national community took a significant a period of very rapid development children
step forward at the World Education for young people in every way – phys-
Forum by reaffirming the goal of ical, emotional, psychological, social Peruvian Agripina Rojas is a
Education for All while also setting and spiritual. This is in fact the most self-trained social commu-
new goals and higher standards – in rapid phase of human development nicator who, through her
expanded and improved care and apart from the period just before radio programme delivered
education in early childhood, espe- and after birth. Yet it is also a time of in the indigenous Quechua
cially for the most vulnerable and great danger. It is these older children language, promotes the
disadvantaged. It also set as its year who are most vulnerable to some of rights of children and
2015 target not only universal access the major threats to child rights – women.
to primary schooling as before but to HIV/AIDS, sexual exploitation, ex-
also the completion of high-quality ploitative child labour, being caught
primary education by all children, in- up in conflict or used as soldiers (see
cluding girls, ethnic minorities and Panel 12). Adolescents are forced to
those in difficult circumstances. Dakar enter these arenas of risk often with-
reaffirmed the centrality of girls’ edu- out the information, skills and access
cation in any serious development to support services that they need.
strategy and stressed that the dead- Adolescence is also a critical gate-
line for eliminating the gender gap in way to improving women’s situation.
primary and secondary enrolment, The well-being of adolescent girls is
unlike most of the other interna- pivotal in breaking down the cycles
tional development targets, has been of gender discrimination that relegate
set for 2005 rather than 2015. Four far too many girls to the same dis-
short years are left for the world to advantaged position as their mothers.
deliver equal rights for girls to learn- It is in these years, for example, that
ing, literacy and the empowerment the gender gap in education yawns
of education. widest: While 6 per cent more boys

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 59

11 The anonymous teacher

Finiosse Santos/AIM, Mozambique

This is the real magician.
It can only be considered magic that a human being
With little or no training
With little support or professional guidance
Who lives in a thatched hut, badly ventilated and scarcely illuminated
With no shops close by, and water miles away
At five or ten kilometres from school, that she or he will have to walk
Two times a day (in the morning and the afternoon)
Who receives a salary just enough to buy a week’s food, how many times paid late
And that doesn’t even buy clothes or furniture
…Is able to make a child…
Who walked five to ten kilometres to get to school
After a night sleeping on a ragged mat
In a hut with many cracks and roaming cold
Not having eaten much
After having had to complete domestic chores
…Learn to read, write and count…
In the shadow of a tree
Sitting on the ground
In groups of 70 children
With no chalk or didactic means
With no books or notebooks
With no pens or pencils
It’s magic, for the esoteric; a miracle, for the religious. Heroism, for the people and for each
child who, from that nothing, acquires knowledge and develops skills.
These are the anonymous heroes of each nation. They are not heroes of war. Their only
weapons are a tremendous love for children and a tenacious desire to contribute to a better
world. They are the heroes of peace. (From UNICEF country office Mozambique) Translated from the original Portuguese.

60 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
than girls in developing countries enrol of cynicism that stand in the way of
in primary school, the gap opens up to a better, more decent world. For that
16 per cent in the secondary years – reason, among many others, young Leaders on
and in South Asia reaches an alarm- people’s participation in the UN Spe-
ing 36 per cent. It is teenage girls who cial Session on Children in September
behalf of
are most likely to be threatened by 2001 will be vital. When adolescents’ children
sexual abuse, trafficking or exploita- rights are fulfilled, their strength,
tive forms of child labour (see Panel confidence, creativity and passion Anglican Bishop Dinis
13); just as it is they who are com- can engender hope and solutions Sengulane has called on
pelled by cultural insistence or overt even in the most desperate situations. churches in Mozambique
command towards early marriage and to play an integral role in
childbearing. Responsibilities without helping young soldiers,
Specific provision for the needs of some drafted while they
young people often falls by the way- were children, to become
side given the competing demands All countries have every economic members of peaceful
and priorities of adults, who can exert incentive to invest in children. Each society. His support of
political pressure. But, again, govern- State that has ratified the Convention the Transforming Guns
ments that have ratified the Conven- on the Rights of the Child is bound into Hoes programme
tion on the Rights of the Child must by the stipulation that national gov- has led many to exchange
accept that adolescents have inalien- ernments must implement all of the weapons – both real and
able rights that are patently ignored children’s rights recognized in the play – for farm tools.
at present. Adolescents have the right Convention “to the maximum extent
to relevant and reliable information of their available resources;” and has
from a variety of sources, including accepted the legal and moral obliga-
parents, teachers, the media and peer tion to use the best interests of chil-
educators. They have the right to be dren as the mediating principle when
taught the life skills they need for the tough economic decisions have to
teenage years when they are explor- be made.
ing their own identity and indepen- National and state-level finance
dence – skills in negotiation, conflict ministers and financial institutions
resolution, critical thinking, decision- must accept their responsibilities for
making, communication and earning the ways in which countries use the
a livelihood. Adolescents depend for public purse to invest in children.
their well-being on a safe and support- The Convention does add its own
ive environment that includes adults rider, however, stating that “where
who care about them. They also have needed,” the resources should be
the right to participate in decisions sought “within the framework of in-
that affect family life. ternational co-operation”. Developing
Securing and guaranteeing these countries must do all they can but it
rights would not only help young is abundantly clear that most of them
people, it would help human society will fall short of the 2015 targets re-
as a whole. Adolescents make up a affirmed by the international commu-
very large proportion of the popula- nity at the Millennium Summit unless
tion in developing countries, yet, as there is a significant increase in exter-
a group, they are too often ignored. nal assistance – and a major infusion
They tend to be treated as a poten- of the resources from debt relief.
tially delinquent, problem group After all, the third large obstacle
instead of being valued for their blocking the road to child rights,
energy and resourcefulness (see Panel along with conflict and HIV/AIDS,
14). We depend on young people’s is poverty, and there is a desperate
vibrancy and idealism for our capa- necessity for those who benefit most
city to change, to shake ourselves out from the increasing prosperity of the
of the corroded habits and patterns global economy to ensure that the

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 61
The involvement of children in armed
12 conflict: Optional Protocol to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child
On 25 May 2000, the General Assembly Convinced that an optional protocol to Stressing that the present Protocol is
of the United Nations adopted the Op- the Convention that raises the age of without prejudice to the purposes and
tional Protocol to the Convention on the possible recruitment of persons into principles contained in the Charter of the
Rights of the Child on the involvement of armed forces and their participation in United Nations, including Article 51, and
children in armed conflict. To date, 80 hostilities will contribute effectively to relevant norms of humanitarian law,
States have signed it and four have rati- the implementation of the principle that Bearing in mind that conditions of
fied it. Ten ratifications are needed to bring the best interests of the child are to be a peace and security based on full respect
it into force. primary consideration in all actions con- of the purposes and principles contained
cerning children, in the Charter and observance of applica-
The States Parties to the Noting that the twenty-sixth Inter- ble human rights instruments are in-
national Conference of the Red Cross and dispensable for the full protection of
present Protocol, Red Crescent in December 1995 recom- children, in particular during armed con-
Encouraged by the overwhelming sup- flicts and foreign occupation,
port for the Convention on the Rights of Recognizing the special needs of
the Child, demonstrating the widespread those children who are particularly vul-
commitment that exists to strive for the nerable to recruitment or use in hostili-
promotion and protection of the rights of ties contrary to the present Protocol
the child, owing to their economic or social status
Reaffirming that the rights of children or gender,
require special protection, and calling for Mindful of the necessity of taking into
continuous improvement of the situation consideration the economic, social and
of children without distinction, as well as political root causes of the involvement
for their development and education in of children in armed conflicts,
conditions of peace and security, Convinced of the need to strengthen
Disturbed by the harmful and wide- international cooperation in the imple-
spread impact of armed conflict on chil- mentation of the present Protocol, as well
dren and the long-term consequences it as the physical and psychosocial rehabil-

has for durable peace, security and itation and social reintegration of chil-
development, dren who are victims of armed conflict,
Condemning the targeting of children Encouraging the participation of the
in situations of armed conflict and direct community and, in particular, children
attacks on objects protected under inter- and child victims in the dissemination of
national law, including places that gener- informational and educational pro-
ally have a significant presence of mended, inter alia, that parties to conflict grammes concerning the implementation
children, such as schools and hospitals, take every feasible step to ensure that of the Protocol,
Noting the adoption of the Rome children below the age of 18 years do not
Statute of the International Criminal take part in hostilities, Have agreed as follows:
Court, in particular, the inclusion therein Welcoming the unanimous adoption,
as a war crime, of conscripting or enlist- in June 1999, of International Labour Article 1
ing children under the age of 15 years or Organization Convention No. 182 on the States Parties shall take all feasible mea-
using them to participate actively in hos- Prohibition and Immediate Action for the sures to ensure that members of their
tilities in both international and non- Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child armed forces who have not attained the
international armed conflicts, Labour, which prohibits, inter alia, forced age of 18 years do not take a direct part
Considering therefore that to strengthen or compulsory recruitment of children for in hostilities.
further the implementation of rights rec- use in armed conflict,
ognized in the Convention on the Rights Condemning with the gravest concern Article 2
of the Child there is a need to increase the recruitment, training and use within States Parties shall ensure that persons
the protection of children from involve- and across national borders of children who have not attained the age of 18
ment in armed conflict, in hostilities by armed groups distinct years are not compulsorily recruited into
Noting that article 1 of the Convention from the armed forces of a State, and rec- their armed forces.
on the Rights of the Child specifies that, ognizing the responsibility of those who
for the purposes of that Convention, a child recruit, train and use children in this regard, — Excerpted from “Optional Protocols to the Con-
means every human being below the age Recalling the obligation of each party vention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement
of children in armed conflict and on the sale of chil-
of 18 years unless, under the law applic- to an armed conflict to abide by the pro- dren, child prostitution and child pornography,”
able to the child, majority is attained earlier, visions of international humanitarian law, A/RES/54/263, 26 June 2000.

62 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
most vulnerable – inevitably women retained the most unequal distribution
and children in the poorest countries – of income and assets in the world.57
also benefit. The fact is that, while The deficiencies in the Washington Leaders on
there has been an overall increase in Consensus are being increasingly rec-
wealth, this is heavily concentrated ognized, not least by the World Bank
behalf of
in just a few countries. The gulf be- itself.58 The poor have to be protected children
tween the richest and the poorest from the earth tremors of global-
countries on earth is actually widen- ization by public investment in basic Visiting women in the
ing with every passing day. In 1990 social services. If globalization is in- streets where they work,
the annual income per person in evitable, and if it is to be a liberating Solidarity with Women in
industrialized countries was 60 times rather than a damaging force, the Distress, or SOLWODI,
greater than that in the least devel- universal package of minimum stan- provides guidance and
oped countries; in 1999 it was almost dards that it includes should not counselling on HIV/AIDS
100 times greater. entail simply the removal of tariff bar- and STIs for commercial
In the last five years the interna- riers but also the guarantee of chil- sex workers in Mombasa
tional community has become in- dren’s rights. and Malindi, many of
creasingly concerned about reducing Thankfully, there are at last signs whom were adolescents
poverty – and with good reason. For that at least some of the richest nations when they entered Kenya’s
the last decade-and-a-half, countries are beginning to take their responsi- thriving commercial sex
all around the world have been broad- bility to combat global poverty seri- trade. The NGO also helps
ly following the economic policies of ously. There was a long campaign with vocational training
what has come to be known as the throughout the 1980s and 1990s by and psychosocial life skills.
Washington Consensus because of its non-governmental organizations, reli-
support by the United States Treasury gious groups and international orga-
and Washington-based institutions nizations – including UNICEF in its
like the World Bank and the yearly The State of the World’s Children
International Monetary Fund. These reports – aimed at persuading the most
policies have involved the pursuit of powerful nations and international
low inflation through fiscal discipline, financial institutions to move more
trade and financial liberalization and swiftly and surely to tackle the mas-
widespread privatization. The empha- sive problem of indebtedness. The
sis rightly has been on efficiency and work of the Jubilee 2000 coalition,
wrongly not on equity: The underly- in particular, has been nothing short
ing assumption has been that the poli- of heroic in transforming the issue of
cies would result in economic growth debt relief from a ‘fringe concern’ into
that would benefit the poor. a practical, serious proposition.
The problem is that the poor have Now the Heavily Indebted Poor
been conspicuously the last to bene- Countries (HIPC) Initiative, which
fit from the advantages of economic was painfully slow and circumscribed
reform and globalization. In Latin at first, is finally starting to kick in. Debt
America, for example, where most relief has been late in coming. After
countries, whether out of choice or many years in which Western gov-
necessity, abided by the Washington ernments and the international
Consensus with remarkable unanim- financial institutions held out against
ity and single-mindedness in the 1990s, any kind of relief ‘on principle’, critics
the new economic policies had mini- wondered if the HIPC Initiative was
mal impact on income poverty. There simply a smokescreen disguising a
were certainly overall benefits: single- fundamental unwillingness to tackle
digit inflation, a lower debt burden the debt problem. By early 2000
and an influx of private capital into HIPC had still only provided debt
the region. But, unemployment rose relief to four countries: Bolivia,
while nearly 80 million people remained Guyana, Mozambique and Uganda.59
in extreme poverty and the region Now, the ‘enhanced’ version of HIPC

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 63
The sale of children, child prostitution and
13 child pornography: Optional Protocol to
the Convention on the Rights of the Child
On 25 May 2000, the General Assembly worldwide criminalization of the produc- Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in
of the United Nations adopted the Op- tion, distribution, exportation, transmis- Stockholm from 27 to 31 August 1996,
tional Protocol to the Convention on the sion, importation, intentional possession and the other relevant decisions and rec-
Rights of the Child on the sale of children, and advertising of child pornography, ommendations of pertinent international
child prostitution and child pornography. and stressing the importance of closer bodies,
To date, 73 States have signed it and four cooperation and partnership between Taking due account of the importance
have ratified it. Ten ratifications are need- Governments and the Internet industry, of the traditions and cultural values of
ed in order to bring it into force. Believing that the elimination of the each people for the protection and har-
sale of children, child prostitution and monious development of the child,
The States Parties to the child pornography will be facilitated by
adopting a holistic approach, addressing Have agreed as follows:
present Protocol, the contributing factors, including under-
Considering that, in order further to development, poverty, economic dispari- Article 1
achieve the purposes of the Convention ties, inequitable socio-economic structure, States Parties shall prohibit the sale of
on the Rights of the Child and the imple- dysfunctioning families, lack of educa- children, child prostitution and child
mentation of its provisions, especially tion, urban-rural migration, gender dis- pornography as provided for by the pre-
articles 1, 11, 21, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36, crimination, irresponsible adult sexual sent Protocol.
it would be appropriate to extend the behaviour, harmful traditional practices,
measures that States Parties should armed conflicts and trafficking in children, Article 2
undertake in order to guarantee the pro- Believing also that efforts to raise For the purposes of the present Protocol:
tection of the child from the sale of chil- public awareness are needed to reduce
dren, child prostitution and child consumer demand for the sale of chil- (a) Sale of children means any act or
pornography, dren, child prostitution and child por- transaction whereby a child is trans-
Considering also that the Convention nography, and believing further in the ferred by any person or group of per-
on the Rights of the Child recognizes the importance of strengthening global part- sons to another for remuneration or
right of the child to be protected from nership among all actors and of improv- any other consideration;
economic exploitation and from perform- ing law enforcement at the national level,
ing any work that is likely to be haz- Noting the provisions of international (b) Child prostitution means the use of a
ardous or to interfere with the child’s legal instruments relevant to the protec- child in sexual activities for remunera-
education, or to be harmful to the child’s tion of children, including the Hague tion or any other form of consideration;
health or physical, mental, spiritual, Convention on Protection of Children and
moral or social development, Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry (c) Child pornography means any repre-
Gravely concerned at the significant Adoption, the Hague Convention on the sentation, by whatever means, of a
and increasing international traffic in Civil Aspects of International Child child engaged in real or simulated
children for the purpose of the sale of Abduction, the Hague Convention on explicit sexual activities or any repre-
children, child prostitution and child Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recogni- sentation of the sexual parts of a child
pornography, tion, Enforcement and Cooperation in for primarily sexual purposes.
Deeply concerned at the widespread Respect of Parental Responsibility and
and continuing practice of sex tourism, to Measures for the Protection of Children,
which children are especially vulnerable, and International Labour Organization
as it directly promotes the sale of children, Convention No. 182 on the Prohibition
child prostitution and child pornography, and Immediate Action for the Elimination
Recognizing that a number of particu- of the Worst Forms of Child Labour,
larly vulnerable groups, including girl Encouraged by the overwhelming sup-
children, are at greater risk of sexual port for the Convention on the Rights of
exploitation and that girl children are dis- the Child, demonstrating the widespread
proportionately represented among the commitment that exists for the promotion
sexually exploited, and protection of the rights of the child,
Concerned about the growing avail- Recognizing the importance of the
ability of child pornography on the implementation of the provisions of the
Internet and other evolving technologies, Programme of Action for the Prevention
and recalling the International Con- of the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution — Excerpted from “Optional Protocols to the Conven-
ference on Combating Child Pornography and Child Pornography and the Declara- tion on the Rights of the Child on the involvement
of children in armed conflict and on the sale of chil-
on the Internet, held in Vienna in 1999, tion and Agenda for Action adopted at dren, child prostitution and child pornography,”
in particular its conclusion calling for the the World Congress against Commercial A/RES/54/263, 26 June 2000.

64 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
has at last begun to make a differ- country’s own companies – and is
ence. Some 22 poor countries receive now campaigning for other industri-
varying amounts of relief that should alized countries to follow suit. Leaders on
eventually amount to around $34 bil- The UK Government has also
lion and should help reduce their undertaken to increase its spending
behalf of
debt to one third of what it was at the on overseas aid from 0.24 per cent of children
start of the process.60 the gross national product (GNP) in
Another extremely welcome devel- 1999 to 0.31 per cent over the next The Reverend Leon Sullivan,
opment has been the announcement two years, after many years of dwin- who died in April 2001 at
by the G7 countries that they will dling or stagnating aid. The increase 78, let nothing stand in his
forgive 100 per cent of the bilateral is welcome as a first instalment but in way in his pursuit of rights,
debt owed them by HIPC-qualified this respect the leaders have long been even if it came to “moving
countries. The Government of the the countries of northern Europe – mountains that stand in
United Kingdom has shown particu- Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway the way of freedom, justice,
lar leadership on the international and Sweden – who have consistently and truth.” He devised
stage in this respect – and its decision, met or exceeded the UN recommended the ‘Sullivan Principles’,
supported by the Canadian Govern- minimum of 0.7 per cent of GNP. As guidelines for American
ment, to place any current debt- it stands, bilateral aid flows from the corporations investing
service payments from conflict-ridden industrialized countries are $100 bil- in South Africa, and also
countries in trust for when they lion a year less than governments designed the ‘Global
attain peace is far-sighted. The UK have agreed they should be. As long Sullivan Principles’ to
has also taken a lead in abolishing as aid levels are so low, rich countries address company
the iniquitous practice of tying aid to are reneging on their side of the standards in the era
the purchase of goods from the donor bargain. Agreed targets are agreed tar- of globalization.

Figure 2. Official development assistance as a percentage

of donor nation GNP, 2000
Denmark 1.06
Netherlands 0.82
Sweden 0.81
Norway 0.80
Luxembourg 0.70
Belgium 0.36
Switzerland 0.34
France 0.33
Finland 0.31
United Kingdom 0.31
Ireland 0.30
Japan 0.27
Germany 0.27
Australia 0.27
New Zealand 0.26
Portugal 0.26
Canada 0.25
Austria 0.25
Spain 0.24
Greece 0.19
Italy 0.13
United States 0.10
Target figure of
Average 0.22 0.7% of GNP

Source: OECD, Press release, 20 April 2001

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 65

14 Chronicle of a disaster foretold

“ t was like seeing dead men walking…,” important man-made factors that aggra- strategy for disaster prevention and ade-
says Rosemberg Marín as he recalls vate the impact of these disasters. Land quate laws and institutions to protect the
the people going through the rubble in cleared by indiscriminate deforestation environment and ensure sustainable
his native Cojutepeque, a community one loses stability and fertility within a very development.
hour east of San Salvador, the capital city few years. Steep hillsides quickly become “Our country needs a strategic disaster-
of El Salvador. “There was practically eroded without investments in soil con- prevention plan that focuses on risk mit-
nothing left from the houses,” he says, servation. Intense population density, as igation in areas of high vulnerability,”
“…but the most painful thing was to see is the case in El Salvador, often provokes says Mirna. And she wants young people
children who had lost not only that, but rapid, unplanned growth of human set- involved: “We young people want to get
also somebody or everyone in their family.” tlement in vulnerable areas and leaves involved and participate actively in all
In January and February 2001, two inhabitants unprotected. the actions aimed at preventing this type
major earthquakes and thousands of Primarily, it is the poor who live in these of disaster so that we can achieve politi-
aftershocks jolted this country already environmentally marginal and vulnerable cal and social awareness in my country.”
suffering the socio-economic conse- areas, on land that no one else wants, far Rosemberg sees a solution in disaster-
quences of years of war, poverty, environ- removed from services or employment, in prevention education for young people.
mental degradation and overpopulation. isolated rural areas, or on steep hillsides. “It would give us a certain degree of hope
El Salvador now had to deal with a natural The mutually reinforcing relationships that these youth or children would have
disaster that buried entire villages, killed between poverty and population growth the capacity to organize their commun-
or wounded thousands and left almost and environmental stress constitute a ity.” He wants a strong Ministry of the
one quarter of the population homeless. vicious circle through which poverty Environment, and the Government to
Damage to social structures, health and helps maintain high rates of population focus its public policies around social,
education infrastructures, the productive growth and increase environmental stress, economic and ecological issues.
sectors and the environment amounts to both of which contribute in turn to the Do Mirna and Rosemberg think that
12 per cent of the country’s 2000 gross perpetuation of poverty. This interaction their country can be rebuilt? “Not only do
domestic product. Reconstruction costs of poverty, population growth and envi- I trust that my country can be recon-
are calculated at over $1.9 billion. ronmental deterioration is actually one structed,” says Mirna, “but I am also con-
These earthquakes were the latest in problem. fident that everybody will contribute to
a series of natural disasters increasing in This year’s earthquakes in El Salvador this change, and that we will all live one
frequency and severity, aggravating the were to a large extent a disaster foretold. day in a country with better opportunities
ecological vulnerability of El Salvador. Warnings that these problems had accu- for social and economic progress.”
In the last three years alone, El Niño, mulated to the point at which disaster Rosemberg thinks that “if we all unite
Hurricane Mitch and La Niña pummelled was inevitable had abounded for years. as Salvadorans, without expecting finan-
the country, each compounding the impact Numerous studies, books and assess- cial rewards for helping others, we can
of the previous event. ments pointed to the need for a national defeat anything.”
At age 18, Rosemberg, whose family
home was almost completely destroyed
in the quake, is somewhat of an expert in
disaster mitigation. He has been volun-
teering with the Defensorías de los
Derechos de la Niñez y Adolescencia
(Defenders of Children’s and Adolescents’
Rights), a UNICEF-supported initiative set
up since the time of Hurricane Mitch in
1998. The Defensorías train young volun-
teers in psychosocial rehabilitation and
prepare them to work with traumatized
children and adults. This is how 19-year-
old Mirna Bulnes from San Salvador got
involved, becoming a volunteer shortly
before the hurricane raged through the
Central American geological struc-
UNICEF/TACRO/Wolfgang Friedl

tures are prone to seismic movements,

hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions,
floods and droughts. But there are also

66 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E
gets; and if they are so conspicuously and NGOs – all of them put on the
ignored by the world’s most powerful spot as to what they could con-
economies, how can those govern- tribute. It was a recognition that the Leaders on
ments in all conscience preach to development goals that the interna-
their counterparts in developing tional community has undertaken to
behalf of
countries who have infinitely fewer meet by the year 2015 have no children
resources to work with? chance of being met unless all parties
Nations that claim leadership of work together with markedly more Under the multi-lane
the global economy must set behind commitment than has been shown bridges spanning Jakarta’s
them the broken promises of the last hitherto – and most particularly unless bustling intersections, Sri
century. They must respond to the the finance ministers and interna- Irianingsih and Sri Rosiati,
call by the Managing Director of the tional financial institutions who con- twin sisters known as Rian
IMF, Horst Köhler, for “a campaign to trol the resources are on board. and Rosi, have jerry-rigged
mobilize public support for action by “What can be achieved together cardboard cartons, soap-
all OECD governments and parlia- by unity of purpose is far greater than boxes and jute mats to
ments to reach the 0.7 per cent target what we can ever achieve acting on create health centres and
within this decade.” 61 That public our own,” says Gordon Brown. “It is schools that serve hun-
support will not be difficult to enlist: by putting the needs of the young dreds of the city’s street
A recent poll in the United States and the poor not only at the centre of children. They spend US
found that respondents believed social policy but at the centre of $2,000 monthly, mostly
their government to be spending well financial decision-making, economic from their own pockets.
over 20 per cent of the federal budget policy and international diplomatic
on foreign aid. When asked what action, that we can ensure a better
they considered to be an appropriate future – a future of health and hope –
level of foreign aid, the answer aver- in which no child is left behind and
aged out at 14 per cent of the budget. every child, in every country, has the
The actual proportion of the US bud- opportunity to make the very most of
get that goes to aid is 0.3 per cent.62 his or her abilities.”63
In Spain, meanwhile, some munici- Speaking by satellite link at the same
palities have shown leadership on event, Nelson Mandela challenged
this issue by agreeing to devote 0.7 those in the audience, “We must move
per cent of their budgets to assisting children to the centre of the world’s
municipalities in developing countries. agenda. We must rewrite strategies to
An encouraging event took place reduce poverty so that investments in
in London in February 2001. The children are given priority.”
UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Among the initiatives launched
Gordon Brown and International at the conference was a proposal from
Development Secretary Clare Short the Italian Government, using its
convened a one-day conference on leadership position chairing the G7
International Action against Child countries, to create a special Trust Fund
Poverty. It marked a notable change for Health to which the 1,000 largest
of emphasis. Taking seriously the call corporations in the world would
of the Global Movement for Children contribute a minimum donation of
for everyone, whatever position they $500,000 each. The governments of
hold in society, to do all they can to industrialized nations would then
deliver children’s rights, Gordon match those donations to arrive at a
Brown brought his influence as fund of at least a billion dollars that
finance minister in one of the world’s could be dedicated to helping coun-
richest economies to bear. Finance tries to meet the year 2015 goals on
ministers from many parts of the health.64
world were invited, along with the This is exactly the kind of partner-
heads of the World Bank, IMF and ship between rich countries and poor,
delegations from key UN agencies governments and corporations, UN

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 67
In East Timor: Leadership to build an
15 independent nation

n a small shop near the market in
Maliana, Agusta and Victoria da Silva
serve customers from behind a rough
wooden benchtop. Next door, Dulce Maria
sits at a foot-pedalled sewing machine
making a T-shirt. These three women help
run the Nove Nove Cooperacion shop, sell-
ing hand-made items such as clothes and
baskets, along with manufactured items,
most of them imported from Indonesia.
The women are all members of the

UNICEF/East Timor/Martins
self-help group Nove Nove (Nine Nine).
Altogether, the 48 members of Nove
Nove have more than 200 children, but
not a single husband. The men were all
killed in September 1999, at the height
of the violence that swept East Timor
after the 30 August vote for indepen-
dence from Indonesia. same situation as me. I also realized that time management, for instance, is very
The impact of those riotous weeks it helps to talk about what happened with useful. However, we need more skills and
was both immediate and long-lasting. other people who had the same experi- we need to be able to reach out to other
Government services ceased to function ence,” she says. The women in Nove women.”
practically overnight as buildings associ- Nove started by getting together to dis- While Nove Nove is a success and an
ated with the administration were looted cuss their everyday needs: how to collect inspiration, formidable challenges remain
and razed to the ground and the staff water, feed their children and send them for East Timor. Every area of social wel-
who worked in the administration left en
to school, how to rebuild the houses that fare, especially those related to children,
masse. Schools were destroyed, village
were burned in the violence. “We would lacks resources. The student: teacher
health posts burned to their foundations
talk together, cry together. It helped us to ratio is above 60 to 1 in primary schools
and around two thirds of the population
feel better to know we weren’t alone. and most health services are currently
was displaced. Most of the vehicles, fish-
Sometimes, if one woman cries, her being provided by NGOs. UNICEF has
ing boats and personal belongings dis-
friends will joke with her to cheer her up. trained teachers in participatory meth-
appeared, as did several thousand people.
We know when we can joke and when we ods and is working with what will become
Today, many agencies are working
need to cry.” the education department to develop a
together to train the people who will run
Although talking helped, the women training programme for the mostly inex-
East Timor when it achieves full inde-
pendence. The current vacuum of policies soon realized that it would neither solve perienced school principals. Because the
and structures is both a threat to the their problems nor help in their struggle current situation has pushed young peo-
rights of children and an opportunity to to feed and clothe their children. At this ple and women into leadership roles for
put issues that affect children and young point, Mrs. Leite attended a leadership which they were not prepared, UNICEF
people on the national agenda. training course run by UNICEF in Maliana. and others run leadership courses for
Regina Leite lives with six of her chil- During the three-day programme, she women’s and youth groups, training
dren in a large house on a hillside over- and 34 other women learned how to run hundreds of people in how to set up and
looking the town centre of Maliana. She an organization, including how to draw run organizations.
has two more children in Dili and one in up a workplan, set objectives and come Through literacy classes, thousands of
Australia on a scholarship. Her husband to decisions in a group. She also trav- women in remote districts like Bobonaro
was the local leader of the CNRT, the elled to Dili, where FOKUPERS, the East and the Ambeno enclave are learning to
umbrella body for the East Timorese Timorese Women’s Communication Forum, read and write. Mrs. Leite also finds time
independence movement. The name Nove also supported by UNICEF, held a work- to help lead one of these literacy groups,
Nove refers to the date of his murder – shop on how to manage cooperative although it hasn’t been easy. “They [her
9 September, 1999. Regina is currently ill enterprises. children] are all studying, so it has been
with a relapse of malaria, but still willing “The training we had from UNICEF was a very heavy load for me to carry. I have
to talk to strangers. good for us, not only in the business but to force myself every day, but I want them
“I decided to form Nove Nove because also at home. We all have children to to go to school so I have to be strong
I realized there were many women in the bring up and households to organize, so for them.”

68 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
agencies and NGOs that was lacking society organizations working with
in the last decades of the 20th century – and for children has played an active
and which the Global Movement for part in the debate from the start. Leaders on
Children seeks to inspire and pro- Representatives of NGOs have had
mote at the start of the 21st. It is broad access and contributed signifi-
behalf of
up to all of us, from teachers to gov- cantly to the process and the draft children
ernment ministers, volunteers to documents. Organizations both small
corporate chief executives, social and large from all over the world have Ms. Tho, a social worker at
workers to bankers, to make our own risen above their differences to sup- the Rose Warm Shelter for
contribution to that movement. The port a common agenda. They have sexually abused girls in
face of global poverty must no longer created a multi-pronged alliance Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam,
be the face of a young child. aimed at ensuring that the world takes has devoted her life to
seriously the idea that children have helping child victims of
The Special Session fundamental human rights, that they sexual abuse and trafficking
must have the first call on our energy, recover from their trauma
on Children
commitment and resources. and lead productive lives.
The UN General Assembly’s Special It is an alliance, moreover, which
Session on Children in September does not just aim to represent chil-
2001 is the culmination of years of dren’s needs and concerns but to be
work by literally thousands of organi- founded on their participation. Chil-
zations. The ground has been pre- dren’s right to participate is nowhere
pared for it, as with any major UN more appropriate than at the Special
conference, by a series of preparatory Session and the major meetings lead-
gatherings at which key issues have ing up to it. So it was that in Jomtien,
been debated and explored, and guid- Thailand, in April, there was an
ing principles and targets for future unprecedented gathering of children
actions have been adopted. The issue aged between 11 and 18 from coun-
of accountability has gained new tries all over East Asia. They met to
prominence, in particular as it relates discuss the problems of children in
to commitments to children in the the region, to formulate their vision
coming years. of how things should be and to make
Unlike any other UN conference, their own recommendations to the
the widest possible range of civil governments and NGOs who will be

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 69
present at the Special Session. In the of children. Panamanian President
same month, children from 27 coun- Mireya Moscoso will take to the Special
tries across Europe and Central Asia Session a proposal for a more inte-
met in Budapest to work on a Young grated system for monitoring the way
People’s Agenda for Europe and Cen- governments’ commitments to chil-
tral Asia. There was a similar Regional dren’s rights are being implemented.
Youth Forum in Amman in Novem- In Lebanon in April 2001, a re-
ber 2000 involving children from the gional symposium met to draw up a
Middle East and North Africa: They plan of action called An Arab World
stressed that children must be included Fit for Children. This was followed by
in all efforts to end the inequality, vio- a conference of Arab and African
lence and injustice that undermine finance ministers in Morocco in May,
children’s rights and human develop- which recommended formal assess-
ment. In April 2001 in Kathmandu, ments of the impact of government
a group called The Change Makers, policies on children; it also proposed
representing children from the eight the creation of national committees
countries of South Asia, presented their that would press for child-focused
own vision of the future to corporate budgets. In China in May 2001, gov-
leaders from the region. “We want a ernments from across East Asia and
world,” they said, “where there is no the Pacific undertook to put chil-
discrimination between boys and dren’s well-being at the top of their
girls, between the able and the dis- agenda, accepting that it represented
abled, between the rich and the poor. “the most important indicator of na-
We want a healthy, safe and clean envi- tional and economic social progress.”
ronment suitable for all. And we want The fifth such regional meeting to
a decent education and opportunities review progress towards the goals of
for play, instead of having to work.” the World Summit for Children, this
was the first that had featured the
active participation of children and
A world fit for children adolescents. In Nepal, meanwhile,
The Special Session will be a unique finance ministers from South Asia
opportunity for the world’s nations met in that same month to discuss
to make a clean break with the tradi- the urgent need to increase invest-
tion of leaving hundreds of millions ment in children – and came to a
of children abandoned in poverty or consensus on how to do it. They
exploited in labour, condemned to agreed that governments needed to
everyday hunger or denied the bene- forge new alliances with the private
fits of learning. Those present at the sector, with civil society organiza-
Special Session will have the chance tions and with children themselves
to be part of an historic moment in in order to generate the necessary
which the world’s leaders commit resources. In Berlin, too, there was a
themselves to creating a world fit for regional meeting for Europe and
children within a generation. Central Asia that produced a 20-
The work has already begun on point action plan. “If we are to create
a regional basis. At the 10th Ibero- a better world and better future for
American Summit in Panama in our children,” Zlatko Lagumdz̆ija,
December 2000, 21 Presidents and Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Her-
Heads of State signed a Declaration zegovina, told delegates, “we must
pledging to deliver free and compul- put children and child rights at the
sory education for all children by 2015, top of our political agenda.”
to halve maternal mortality by 2010 We have learned a great deal over
and to crack down on the trafficking, the decades of development about the
kidnapping and sexual exploitation way in which promises are discarded

70 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
or evaded – always leaving children ■ Full financing in order to speed up
to bear the brunt of the betrayal. We debt relief, particularly in least
have learned that targets and goals developed countries, and cancella- Leaders on
have to be specific, time-bound and tion of all official bilateral debts;
measurable – and that progress towards
behalf of
them has to be carefully monitored ■ Easier access to exports for the children
and reviewed. Delegates to the Special least developed countries, free
Session will therefore be asked to from duty or quota restrictions; Lescek Zawadka, a Polish
commit to concrete targets in child musician who lives in
health, in education, in combating ■ Social spending over military expen- Mexico, founded Niños
HIV/AIDS and in protecting children diture; Cantores de Valle de
from abuse, exploitation or violence. Chalco, a children’s choir,
More than that, though, they will be ■ Domestic resources should be used considered the best in the
asked to agree to account for their for social development and to country, in one of the 10
progress or their failure. reduce disparities at the interna- poorest municipalities in
To make the achievement of the tional and national levels; the state of Mexico. The
goals possible, delegates will be asked choir regularly gives
for a commitment to mobilize the ■ Both aid and government expendi- concerts and has toured
resources of which the world’s chil- tures should be restructured along Europe and Latin America.
dren have been starved. We encourage the lines of the 20/20 Initiative,
government leaders in developing in line with the Oslo and Hanoi
and industrialized countries to work Consensus documents, to achieve
closely together to meet the following universal access to basic social
targets: services.

■ All countries who have not done so At the Special Session govern-
should strive to meet the long-agreed ments must show they have finally
target of 0.7 per cent of GNP for over- understood that, for the good of all,
all development assistance; the rights of children must come first. UNICEF/97-1034/Pirozzi/Rwanda

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 71
Voices “For six years, my school has been a railroad car. It is difficult to learn. There
is not glass in the windows. During the summer it’s impossible to stay cool and
during winter it’s impossible to stay warm…. I don’t have any gloves, so it’s
of terrible to write. After one or two lessons in the cold, the teachers usually let us
Young Isa, 17, Azerbaijan

People . . . “[And] when you see hope, your sense of humour returns. You can even tease
your parents.”
Xiuhua, 15, on getting a job, China

“My name is Eilyn. I quit school at 13 years because of economical problems.

On poverty At 15, I tried come back, but I wasn’t accepted anymore.”
Eilyn, 15, Costa Rica

and “I am always frightened at night. Drunk men come to bother me all the time.
One day, I tried to run away with my siblings. But, we had nowhere to go,
nothing to eat, and nowhere to sleep. So we came back. Now it is even worse.
education There aren’t many like me; most families have one parent; we are always poor;
we never eat or drink well when others do.”
Zewdi, 14, Eritrea

■ Children are the hardest hit

“How can I continue education without having enough to eat?”
by poverty: it causes lifelong
Street vendor, 12, Ethiopia
damage to their minds and
“There are some of us who are very privileged who will get good education and
good exposure. And some who do take advantage of opportunities given to them.
■ More than half a billion However, there are some who don’t take advantage or are deprived of opportunities,
children live on less than say by going into child labour. Child labour is more profitable in the eyes of
$1 a day. their parents, because they will be making money for the family instead
of studying. Studying would be an investment for families, which would not be
■ Education is the key to affordable in many cases.”
Deepti, 17, India
ending poverty.
“Before being released by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, I worked in the stone quarries
■ More than 100 million children of Faridabad in North India. Here I was beaten regularly on one pretext or the
are out of school because of other. The loan, which my father had taken, never seemed to be repaid. Year
after year I worked until one day Bachpan Bachao Andolan stepped in! Today I
poverty, discrimination or lack
understand how important it is to be educated. No one will now be able to make
of resources. me or my family sign on blank sheets of paper and make us bonded slaves.”
Kaushalya, 14, India

“We don’t like this work because it is hard and we feel very tired when picking
tea, but we know how to pick tea because it helps us in many ways. It helps us
to get food, money for paying school fees and also clothes and other things, and
also we want to stop it.”
Betty, 13, Kenya

“Even if I could enrol in standard one for free, there would be no money for
Piana, 13, Lesotho

“I live in roofless and damaged former government building with my fourteen-

year-old sister, and my three children – one son and two girls (twins). The oldest
is my four-year son and the twins are one and a half years old. When I go
begging, I take my children with me. My sister also goes begging. We eat together
what we get.”
Refugee girl, 16, Somalia

“I married young (at 14) and am uneducated. But I will not allow my daughter
to marry young and be uneducated. I will giver her the chance to be educated
and let her get her own income prior to getting married. The civil war forced
me to marry young. I will protect the mistakes of early marriage and lack of
education from my daughter.”
Militia girl, 20, Somalia

72 A C T I O N S T H AT C A N C H A N G E T H E W O R L D
As Nelson Mandela has said: “Any the sand of the new century, let us
country, any society, which does not make a sacred promise to deliver to
care for its children is no nation at the children who will be born into Leaders on
all.” Heads of State and Government, our world the health and nutrition,
ministers and civil servants, experts the education and protection, that is
behalf of
and activists who will gather in New their birthright. children
York carry with them an accountabil- We know far more than we have
ity to all those who are a part of the ever known before about how to When Princess Lalla Fatima
Global Movement for Children. make this happen. As a global com- Zohra of Morocco spoke
Every individual who has said ‘Yes’ munity, we have more resources than publicly about AIDS earlier
for children, whether in the moun- we have ever had before that can be this year, she broke one of
tains of Afghanistan or the jungles of put to work to bring it about. her country’s taboos. The
Peru, the cities of Germany or the It is already late for Ayodele and number of AIDS cases in
townships of South Africa, has other children of the 1990s, for all Morocco quadrupled last
pledged in support of a 10-point plan those who were born around the time year to 20,000 and the
to change the world – a plan that will of the World Summit for Children. region is on the verge of
continue to play out in daily lives But the decisions made in September an epidemic. Princess Lalla
long after the Special Session ends. 2001 and the action taken in the Fatima is ensuring that
Now it is the turn of those who years ahead could change the fate of silence and denial won’t
hold political power and the public the next generation. be another factor in the
trust – those with the greatest oppor- In our hands rests the opportunity spread of the virus.
tunity and the greatest responsibility – to consign neglect, abuse and exploita-
to bring about change. The millions of tion of children to the history books
people in every country of the world and to write our own new page. If we
who have pledged their support to the squander this new opportunity, our
cause of children’s rights will be children will judge us harshly and we
watching more closely than they have will have again betrayed a most
ever watched before. Those who sacred trust. The promises we make
would call themselves leaders must now are the promises we must keep.
give all that is needed – no less will This time there is no excuse. The
do – to create a world fit for children. task is set and the road is clear. Let’s
go to work.

Birthright and promise

The idea of birthright is an ancient
one that occurs in all cultures and
religions. With our feet still fresh on

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 73
Birth and broken promises 12 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Afghanistan
2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
1 Ayodele is a fictional character based on many Kabul, December 2000, pp. 9, 10, 30.
similar girls encountered in rural areas of West
Africa. 13 Piot, Peter, ‘Politicizing AIDS: Interview with Peter
Piot’, Africa-on-Line, p. 2
2 The figure is 315 million people (232 million in [].
industrialized countries, 83 million in developing
countries). ‘Numbering cyberspace’, International 14 Annan, op. cit., pp. 27-29.
Telecommunication Union
[]. 15 United Nations, ‘Special session of the General
Assembly on HIV/AIDS’, Report of the Secretary-
3 Public Broadcasting System General, A/55/779, 16 February 2001, p. 19.
NASA []. 16 United Nations Special Session on HIV/AIDS,
Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, ‘Global
4 United Nations Development Programme, Crisis–Global Action’, 25-27 June 2001, New York.
‘Globalization with a Human Face’, Human
Development Report 1999, Oxford University 17 Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS,
Press, New York, 1999, p. 1. Report of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic – June
2000, UNAIDS, Geneva, p. 132.
5 Annan, Kofi A., Secretary-General of the United
Nations, ‘We the Peoples’: The Role of the United 18 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Botswana
Nations in the 21st Century, United Nations 2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
Department of Public Information, New York, December 2000, pp. 12, 14.
2000, p. 7.
19 Nelson, Kenrad E., et al., ‘Changes in Sexual
6 Nyerere, Julius, interview by Charlayne Hunter- Behavior and a Decline in HIV Infection among
Gault, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer; Public Young Men in Thailand’, The New England Journal of
Broadcasting System, 27 December 1996 Medicine, 1 August 1996, vol. 335: 297-303, no. 5.
20 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Mauritius
7 Bunting, Ikaweba, ‘The Heart of Africa. Interview 2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
with Julius Nyerere on Anti-Colonialism’, New December 2000, pp. 5, 12, 19.
Internationalist, issue 309, January-February 1999
[]. 21 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Malawi
2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
8 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Somalia 2000, pp. 8, 9, 14.
2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
2000, pp. 13, 15, 27-28, 35. 22 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF China 2000
Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF, 2000,
9 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Namibia p. 5; United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Lao
2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF, People’s Democratic Republic 2000 Annual Report
December 2000. (internal publication), UNICEF, 2000, p. 1.

10 Bounds, Andrew, ‘Bull by the horns’, New 23 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Cambodia
Internationalist, issue 330, December 2000, p. 22. 2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
2000, pp. 11, 14.
11 Ibid., p. 23.
24 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Jamaica
2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
2000, p. 3.

25 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Venezuela To change the world with children
2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
2000, pp. 1, 3. 38 Interview with Marie Staunton at PLAN
International’s headquarters in Woking, England,
26 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Cap-Vert on 5 March 2001.
2000 Rapport Annuel (internal publication), UNICEF,
2000, p. 3. 39 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Caribbean
Area Office 2000 Annual Report (internal
27 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Cambodia publication), UNICEF, 2000, para. 86.
2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
December 2000, p. 14. 40 Lansdown, Gerison, Promoting Children’s
Participation in Democratic Decision-Making,
28 Wren, Christopher S., ‘Ex-Diplomat To Lead Group UNICEF, Innocenti Insight, Innocenti Research
In AIDS Battle’, The New York Times, 20 June 2001, Centre, Florence, Italy.
p. A8.
41 ‘Young Voices Design a Program: The BRAC
29 Rosenberg, Tina, ‘The world’s AIDS crisis is Experience’, BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement
solvable – Look at Brazil’, The New York Times, Committee) paper submitted to UNICEF, 28 March
Sunday Magazine, 28 January 2001, p. 29. 2001.

30 McNeil, Donald G. Jr., ‘Money Isn’t Everything’, The 42 Information provided by UNICEF Bangladesh,
New York Times, 24 June 2001, Section 4, p. 2. 25 May 2001, internal communique.

31 Zimmerman, Rachel, ‘Glaxo Unveils Another Price 43 United Nations, ‘We the Children: End-decade
Cut for AIDS Drugs to Poor Countries’, The Wall review of the follow-up to the World Summit for
Street Journal, 11 June 2001. Children’, Report of the Secretary-General, A/S-
27/3, United Nations, New York 4 May, 2001,
32 Nessman, Ravi, ‘Drug Companies Drop S. Africa pp. 110-111.
Suit’, Associated Press, 19 April 2001.
44 Fontaine, Nicole, President of the European
33 Nokia, Corporate Citizenship Program Parliament, Preface to Gerison Lansdown’s paper
[]. for Euronet (the European Children’s Network),
‘Challenging Discrimination against Children in
34 Information supplied by Hiba Frankoul, Private the EU’, November 2000.
Sector Division, UNICEF, 5 April 2001, internal
communique. 45 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Bolivia
2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
35 From comments by UNICEF Bangladesh, 25 May December 2000, p. 19.
2001, internal communique.
46 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Moldova
36 Website []. 2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
37 Mandela, Nelson, and Graça Machel, ‘At the service
of the children of the world’, letter presented to 47 United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Azerbaijan
UNICEF on 6 May 2000. 2000 Annual Report (internal publication), UNICEF,
2000, p. 2.

48 Part of an agreed statement submitted to the

Prepcom for the UN Special Session by a broad
group of children and young people representing
NGOs from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and
North America.

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 75
Actions that can change the world 57 Birdsall, Nancy, and Augusto de la Torre with Rachel
Menezes, Washington Contentious: Economic
49 World Bank, The East Asia Miracle: Economic growth Policies for Social Equity in Latin America, Carnegie
and public policy, Policy Research Report, World Endowment for International Peace and Inter-
Bank/Oxford University Press, 1993, pp. 46-47. American Dialogue, Washington, D.C., 2001,
pp. 6-7.
50 Mehrotra, Santosh, and Richard Jolly, eds.,
Development with a Human Face, Clarendon Press, 58 World Bank, ‘Making Markets Work Better for Poor
Oxford, 1997, pp. 46, 47. People’, chapter 4 in World Development Report
2000/2001: Attacking poverty, World Bank/Oxford
51 United Nations Children’s Fund, Poverty Reduction University Press, Washington, D.C, 2001, pp. 61-76.
Begins with Children, UNICEF, New York, March
2000, p. 31. 59 United Nations Children’s Fund, Poverty Reduction
Begins with Children, UNICEF, New York, March
52 Vandemoortele, Jan, ‘Absorbing social shocks, 2000, p. 33.
protecting children and reducing poverty: The role
of basic social services’, UNICEF Staff Working 60 Köhler, Horst, ‘Breaking the Cycle of World Poverty’,
Papers, Evaluation, Policy and Planning Series, speech on behalf of the IMF to the International
Number EPP-00-001, UNICEF, New York, 2000, Action Against Child Poverty Conference in London,
pp. 21-23. 26 February 2001
53 Young, Mary Eming, Early Child Development:
Investing in the future, World Bank, Washington, 61 Ibid.
D.C., 1996, pp. 10-11.
62 Programme on International Policy Attitudes,
54 Lockheed, Marlaine E., Dean Jamison and Lawrence ‘Americans on Foreign Aid and World Hunger: A
J. Lau, ‘Farmer Education and Farm Efficiency: Study of US Public Attitudes’, University of
A survey’, Economic Development and Cultural Maryland, February 2001
Change, University of Chicago, October 1980, pp. [].
37-76, cited in Colclough, Christopher, with Keith
Lewin, Educating All the Children: Strategies for 63 Brown, Gordon, speech to the International Action
primary schooling in the South, Clarendon Press, Against Child Poverty Conference, London,
Oxford, 1993, p. 30. 26 February 2001

55 United Nations Children’s Fund, Poverty Reduction

Begins with Children, UNICEF, New York, March 64 Visco, Vincenzo, speech on behalf of the Italian
2000, pp. 15, 28. Government to the International Action Against
Child Poverty Conference in London, 26 February
56 Summers, Lawrence H., Investing in All The People, 2001.
Quad-i-Azam Lecture at the Eighth Annual General
Meeting of the Pakistan Society of Development
Economists, held in Islamabad, January 1992,
Policy Research Working Paper Series, World Bank,
Washington, D.C., May 1992, p. 1.

Pictorial representations of findings from end-decade reviews in more
than 130 countries that assessed the implementation of the 1990
World Summit for Children goals. The selected indices capture both
gains and future challenges for the well-being of children.





GENERAL NOTES ON MAPS ...................................................... PAGE 84

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 77
Guinea worm
Niger 2%
Other 3% Burkina Faso 3%
Progress since the
Distribution of
reported cases
Ghana 10%

Nigeria 10%
World Summit for Children
Source: WHO. Sudan
Household surveys
Household surveys conducted
at the end of the decade
623,844 75,223
total reported cases total reported cases
1990 2000 Use of vitamin A supplements
70% or more of children under 5 received
at least one vitamin A supplement in 1999

Use of iodized salt

90%–100% of households used iodized salt

Source: UNICEF, for developing countries.

At the 1990 World Summit for

Children, world leaders committed
to meet 27 goals for children by the
year 2000. In an end-decade review,
over 130 countries reported their
progress towards these goals.
• Today, 43 developing countries
provide vitamin A supplements
to 70% or more of under-fives.
Trends in
This may have prevented 39% exclusive
1 million child deaths between breastfeeding
Of children aged
Produced for UNICEF by Myriad Editions Limited Copyright © UNICEF, 2001

1998 and 2000. 0-3 months in the

developing world
• Some 72% of households in the Source: UNICEF.
developing world are using
iodized salt, compared to less
than 20% a decade ago.

• Exclusive breastfeeding for

infants aged 0-3 months in the
developing world increased from
39% to 46% between 1989 and
This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF
• Guinea worm disease is now on the legal status of any country or territory or
the delimitation of any frontiers. Dotted line
eliminated except in one country represents approximately the Line of Control in
in the Middle East and parts of Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and
Percentage Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir
sub-Saharan Africa. change = 18% has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.

1989 1999

78 MAPS T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 79
Promoting healthy lives
and quality education
Use of oral rehydration therapy
To control diarrhoeal disease in children under 5

More than 60%



Under 20%

No data

Malnourished children
More than 25% of children
under 5 years old are underweight

Under-educated children
Less than 60% of children
are enrolled in or attend primary school
Actions are needed to complete the
unfinished agenda of the 1990 Source: UNESCO/UNICEF.
World Summit for Children. During
the next decade, two priorities will
be to promote healthy lives and
provide quality education.

• Oral rehydration therapy reduces Children of primary school age

dehydration due to diarrhoeal
not in school
diseases – one of the major By region 1998
causes of death among children. Source: UNICEF.

• 149 million children are still Industrialized
Baltic States
Produced for UNICEF by Myriad Editions Limited Copyright © UNICEF, 2001

East Asia countries

malnourished, two thirds of them 2%
and Pacific
in Asia. The absolute number of 6% Middle East and
malnourished children has Maternal mortality North Africa
Latin America
increased in Africa. Maternal deaths per and Caribbean 8%
100,000 live births 5%
• Although primary school 430 1995
enrolment has increased, more 360
Source: UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO. Sub-Saharan
than 100 million primary school South Asia 39%
age children remain out of Lifetime chance of dying 38%
190 in pregnancy or childbirth:
school, nearly 60% of them girls. 140 Least developed countries 1 in 16
55 Industrialized countries 1 in 4,085
• 515,000 women still die
every year as a result of This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF
on the legal status of any country or territory or
pregnancy and childbirth, CEE/CIS East Asia Latin America Middle East South Sub-Saharan the delimitation of any frontiers. Dotted line
nearly half of them in represents approximately the Line of Control in
and and and and Asia Africa
Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and
sub-Saharan Africa. Baltic States Pacific Caribbean North Africa Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir
has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.
Boys Girls
43% 57%

80 MAPS T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 81
AIDS and child
in selected
Protecting children and
Percentage of
combating HIV/AIDS
child mortality Countries that have ratified:
due to AIDS
projected 1) CEDAW
2000–2005 2) Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182
3) Convention to ban anti-personnel landmines
50% and over
All three conventions
1 and 2
1 and 3
Source: UN Population Division, 1999.
2 and 3

1 only

2 only

3 only

None of the conventions

No data

Signed either one or both

of the two Optional Protocols to the CRC

Sources: UN website, 18 June 2001;

Leadership at all levels is needed
ILO website, 18 June 2001.
to protect children against abuse, 2000 25,300,000
exploitation and violence and to
combat HIV/AIDS.

•International conventions are

legally binding instruments that
set standards and obligations for 7,000,000

national governments. Those 6,400,000

shown on this map, together with
the Convention on the Rights of Estimated number
the Child (CRC), are the 6,400,000
of people living
Produced for UNICEF by Myriad Editions Limited Copyright © UNICEF, 2001

Eastern &
foundation for protecting
children and women.
Southern Africa with HIV/AIDS
By region 1990–2000
AIDS orphans
•Of the estimated 36 million Numbers of children under 15 1990
people living with HIV/AIDS, 95% who lost their mother or
of whom are in developing both parents to AIDS 2000
countries, 16.4 million are selected regions
1990–2000 Source: UNAIDS/WHO.
women and 1.4 million are
children under 15. Source: UNAIDS/UNICEF.
Eastern & Southern Africa 3,000,000 1,300,000
•At least 10.4 million children
780,000 West &
currently under 15 have lost their Central Africa 700,000 830,000
West & Central Africa 550,000
mother or both parents to AIDS, 360,000 400,000 This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF
1990 100,000 on the legal status of any country or territory or
90% of them in sub-Saharan South Asia 5,000
the delimitation of any frontiers. Dotted line
Africa. In 2000, some 2.3 million 39,000 Highly Middle East Eastern Europe Sub-Saharan Southern Latin America represents approximately the Line of Control in
Latin America & Caribbean industrialized and and Africa and and Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and
children under 15 became AIDS countries North Africa Central Asia Eastern Asia Caribbean Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir
15,000 650,000 South Asia
orphans – one every 14 seconds. East Asia & Pacific
has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.
160,000 Latin America & Caribbean
less than 100 140,000 East Asia & Pacific

82 MAPS T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 83
General notes The maps are based on data from the Map 3. Protecting children and combat-
United Nations Secretary-General’s report ing HIV/AIDS: The full titles of the Conven-
on maps ‘We the Children: End-decade review of tions shown on the map are as follows:
the follow-up to the World Summit for CEDAW: Convention on the Elimination of
Children’. Updated statistical data from All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
national end-decade reviews will be Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
included in a statistical annex to the No. 182: Convention concerning the
Secretary-General’s report that will be Prohibition and Immediate Action for the
available at the United Nations Special Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child
Session on Children in September 2001. Labour; Convention to ban anti-personnel
Data sources for illustrations are given landmines: Convention on the Prohibi-
on each map. As many countries as space tion of the Use, Stockpiling, Production
allows have been included. Some island and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and
nations are surrounded by a box if an in- on their Destruction; CRC: Convention on
dicator may not otherwise be seen easily. the Rights of the Child; two Optional
An interactive version of these maps is Protocols to the CRC: Optional Protocol to
accessible on UNICEF’s website at: the Convention on the Rights of the Child
<>. on the involvement of children in armed
conflict; and Optional Protocol to the
Map 1. Progress since the World Summit Convention on the Rights of the Child on
for Children: No special note. the sale of children, child prostitution
and child pornography.
Map 2. Promoting healthy lives and qual- Signature of a convention by a State
ity education: The maternal mortality ratio constitutes a preliminary and general en-
(annual maternal deaths per 100,000 live dorsement and creates an obligation of
births) is a measure of the risk of death a good faith to refrain from acts that would
woman faces each time she becomes defeat the object and the purpose of the
pregnant. Lifetime risk of death mea- convention. Ratification of a convention
sures the cumulative risk of death from means that the State Party agrees to be
motherhood across a woman’s reproduc- legally bound by the terms of the conven-
tive years, taking into account both the tion. The two Optional Protocols to the
average number of births per woman and Convention on the Rights of the Child
the probability of dying as a result of were opened for signature in May 2000
childbearing. and their ratification has started.
The oral rehydration therapy data for The data for AIDS orphans are broken
Belize, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, Namibia, down into UNICEF geographic regions.
Sri Lanka and Syria are from 1990–1995, The data for people living with HIV/AIDS
and that for Thailand and Trinidad and are analysed by UNAIDS/WHO regions.
Tobago are from 1987. The data of mal- The two regional breakdowns are not
nourished children in Namibia are from comparable.


Balance Sheets
A summary of the goals, gains and unfinished business of the
1990-2000 decade as included in the Report of the Secretary-General,
'We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World
Summit for Children'.

1. CHILD HEALTH .................................................................. PAGE 86

2. NUTRITION ...................................................................... PAGE 87

3. WOMEN’S HEALTH ............................................................ PAGE 88

4. WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION ............................ PAGE 89

5. EDUCATION ...................................................................... PAGE 90

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 85
Child health (1990-2000)


Infant and under-five mortality: reduction ■ More than 60 countries achieved the ■ U5MR rates increased in 14 countries
by one third in infant mortality and goal of U5MR. (9 of them in sub-Saharan Africa) and
U5MR were unchanged in 11 others.
■ At the global level, U5MR declined
by 14 per cent. ■ Serious disparities remain in U5MR
within countries: by income level,
urban vs. rural, and among minority

Polio: global eradication by 2000 ■ More than 175 countries are polio-free. ■ Polio is still endemic in 20 countries.
Routine immunization: maintenance of ■ Sustained routine immunization cov- ■ Less than 50 per cent of children
a high level of immunization coverage erage at 75 per cent (three doses of under one year of age in sub-Saharan
combined diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus Africa are immunized against DPT3.
vaccine (DPT3)).

Measles: reduction by 95 per cent in ■ Worldwide reported measles incidence ■ In more than 15 countries, measles
measles deaths and 90 per cent in has declined by nearly two thirds vaccination coverage is less than 50
measles cases by 1995 as a major step between 1990 and 1999. per cent.
to global eradication in the longer run

Neonatal tetanus: elimination by 1995 ■ 104 of 161 developing countries have ■ 27 countries (18 in Africa) account for
achieved the goal. 90 per cent of all remaining neonatal
■ Deaths caused by neonatal tetanus
declined by 50 per cent between
1990 and 2000.

Deaths due to diarrhoea: reduce them ■ This goal was achieved globally, ■ Diarrhoea remains one of the major
by 50 per cent according to World Health Organization causes of death among children.
(WHO) estimates.

Acute respiratory infections (ARI): reduc- ■ ARI case management has improved ■ ARI remains one of the greatest causes
tion of ARI deaths by one third in chil- at health centre level. of death among children.
dren under five
■ The effectiveness of Haemophilus ■ Vertical, single-focus ARI programmes
influenzae type b and pneumococcus seem to have had little global impact.
vaccines is established.

Source: United Nations, ‘We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children’, Report of the Secretary-General, A/S-27/3, United
Nations, New York, 4 May 2001.

Nutrition (1990-2000)


Malnutrition: reduction of severe and ■ Malnutrition declined by 17 per cent ■ 149 million children are still mal-
moderate malnutrition among under- in developing countries. South America nourished, two thirds of them in Asia.
five children by half achieved the goal with a 60 per cent The absolute number of malnourished
reduction in underweight prevalence children has increased in Africa.
over the decade.

Breastfeeding: empowerment of all ■ Exclusive breastfeeding rates increased ■ Only about half of all infants are
women to breastfeed their children by nearly one fifth over the decade. exclusively breastfed for the first four
exclusively for four to six months and to months of life.
■ Gains were also made in timely com-
continue breastfeeding, with comple-
plementary feeding and continued
mentary food, well into the second year
breastfeeding into the second year
of life
of life.

Vitamin A deficiency: virtual elimination ■ More than 40 countries are reaching ■ As many countries are discontinuing
by the year 2000 the large majority of their children national polio immunization days, a
(over 70 per cent) with at least one new distribution system for vitamin A
high-dose vitamin A supplement a will have to be found.
year. UNICEF estimates that as many
as one million child deaths may have
been prevented in this way in the last
three years alone.

Iodine deficiency disorders: virtual ■ Some 72 per cent of households ■ There are still 37 countries where less
elimination in the developing world are using than half the households consume
iodized salt, compared to less than iodized salt.
20 per cent at the beginning of the
decade. As a result, 90 million new-
borns are protected yearly from sig-
nificant loss in learning ability.

Low birthweight: reduction of the rate of ■ To date, 57 developing countries ■ 11 million babies in South Asia and
low birthweight (2.5 kilograms (kg) or have low-birthweight levels below 3.6 million babies in sub-Saharan
less) to less than 10 per cent 10 per cent. Africa are born each year with low

Growth monitoring: growth promotion ■ A majority of developing countries ■ Growth monitoring information is often
and regular growth monitoring among have implemented growth monitoring not used as a basis for community,
children to be institutionalized in all and promotion activities using various family or government action.
countries by the end of the 1990s approaches.

Household food security: Dissemination ■ The number of people in developing ■ In sub-Saharan Africa, about one third
of knowledge and supporting services to countries lacking sufficient calories in of the population lack sufficient food.
increase food production their diets has decreased marginally.

Source: United Nations, ‘We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children’, Report of the Secretary-General, A/S-27/3, United
Nations, New York, 4 May 2001.

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 87
Women’s health (1990-2000)


Maternal mortality: reduction between ■ There has been heightened aware- ■ There is no evidence that maternal
1990 and the year 2000 of the maternal ness of causes leading to high MMR, death rates have declined significantly
mortality ratio (MMR) by half but little tangible progress. over the last decade.
■ 515,000 women still die every year as
a result of pregnancy and childbirth. A
woman in sub-Saharan Africa faces a
1 in 13 chance of dying during preg-
nancy and childbirth.

Family planning: access by all couples ■ Contraceptive prevalence increased ■ Every year, adolescents give birth to
to information and services to prevent by 10 per cent globally and doubled 15 million infants.
pregnancies that are too early, too closely in the least developed countries.
■ Only 23 per cent of women (married
spaced, too late or too numerous
■ The total fertility rate has declined or in union) in sub-Saharan Africa use
from 3.2 to 2.8. contraceptives.
■ Access to reproductive health educa-
tion remains a challenge.

Childbirth care: access by all pregnant ■ Modest gains were made in both ■ Essential obstetric care services are
women to prenatal care, trained atten- antenatal care and births assisted by lacking.
dants during childbirth and referral a skilled health worker in all regions
■ Coverage of delivery care is only 29
facilities for high-risk pregnancies and except sub-Saharan Africa.
per cent in South Asia and 37 per cent
obstetric emergencies
in sub-Saharan Africa.

Anaemia: reduction of iron deficiency ■ Most developing countries have iron ■ Available evidence shows little change
anaemia in women by one third of 1990 supplementation measures for preg- during the 1990s in the prevalence of
levels nant women. anaemia among pregnant women.

Source: United Nations, ‘We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children’, Report of the Secretary-General, A/S-27/3, United
Nations, New York, 4 May 2001.

Water and environmental sanitation


Water: universal access to safe drinking ■ 816 million additional people obtained ■ Some 1.1 billion people still lack
water access to improved water supplies access. Global coverage increased by
over the decade. only 3 per cent, to 82 per cent.
■ Water quality problems have grown
more severe in a number of countries
during the decade.
■ Coverage in low-income areas remains
low, especially in informal settlements.
Sanitation: universal access to sanitary ■ 747 million additional people utilized ■ 2.4 billion people, including half of
means of excreta disposal improved sanitation facilities. all Asians, lack access. Global cover-
age increased by only 5 per cent, to
60 per cent.
■ 80 per cent of those lacking sanitation
live in rural areas.

Guinea worm disease: elimination ■ The number of reported cases has ■ Momentum towards elimination of
declined by 97 per cent. The disease guinea worm disease needs to be
is now eliminated in all regions except maintained.
one country in the Middle East and 13
countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: United Nations, ‘We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children’, Report of the Secretary-General, A/S-27/3, United
Nations, New York, 4 May 2001.

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 89
Education (1990-2000)


Early childhood develop- ■ Enrolment of children in early childhood pro- ■ Most progress has been among urban and
ment: expansion of early grammes has kept pace with or exceeded elite populations and on formal pre-school
childhood development population growth rates in most regions. programmes.
(ECD) activities, including ■ Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and
appropriate low-cost fam- Central Asia have seen a virtual collapse of
ily and community-based public provision of pre-school education.
interventions ■ Limited progress on comprehensive family-
and community-based approaches.

Universal access to basic ■ Net primary school enrolment has increased ■ Over 100 million children of primary school
education: achievement in all regions and reached 82 per cent globally. age remain out of school, especially working
of primary education by ■ Latin America has achieved its regional target children, children affected by HIV/AIDS, conflict
at least 80 per cent of pri- of more than 70 per cent primary school and disability, children of the poor or ethnic
mary school-age children achievement in urban areas. minorities and rural children.
■ The World Education Forum (Dakar 2000) ■ Millions are receiving an education of poor
endorsed a comprehensive definition of edu- quality.
cation quality. ■ At least one third of the 190 million working
■ Many countries have extended the period of children aged 10-14 in developing countries
basic education to close the gap between have no access at all to basic education.
end of compulsory schooling and minimum
age for employment. ■ Funding for education interventions in human-
itarian crises remains a low priority.
■ Humanitarian relief now includes education
as part of its basic package. ■ Implementation of HIPC II has been slow.
■ The HIPC II Initiative now links increased in-
vestment in basic education to debt relief.

Gender disparities: re- ■ The primary school enrolment gap between ■ The gender gap has not changed over the
duction of current dispar- girls and boys has narrowed globally from 8 decade in sub-Saharan Africa.
ities between boys and percentage points to 6 percentage points.
girls ■ Among developing regions, CEE/CIS and Baltic
States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and
East Asia and the Pacific have the lowest gen-
der gap (of 2 percentage points or less).
■ Middle East and North African countries have
halved the gender gap, to 8 percentage points.
■ South Asia reduced the gender gap by nearly
a fifth, to 14 percentage points.

Adult literacy: reduction of ■ Adult illiteracy has declined from 25 per cent ■ Absolute number of illiterate adults has
adult illiteracy rate to at to 21 per cent. remained at about 880 million over the last
least half its 1990 rate, decade worldwide, with numbers of illiterates
with special emphasis on increasing in most regions.
female literacy ■ Illiteracy is increasingly concentrated among
women, especially in South Asia and sub-
Saharan Africa.

Knowledge, skills and ■ Provision of education and training for young ■ Young people, especially in Central and Eastern
values for better living: people in skills formation is increasing, with Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, face massive
increased acquisition by greater emphasis on life skills and livelihood unemployment and often displacement.
individuals and families of skills. ■ The majority of young people in sub-Saharan
knowledge, skills and val- ■ New partnerships have emerged among educa- Africa and Asia lack the skills to protect them-
ues for better living, using tion providers, industry and community lead- selves from HIV/AIDS.
all educational channels ers to promote relevant skills-based learning.
Source: United Nations, ‘We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children’, Report of the Secretary-General, A/S-27/3, United
Nations, New York, 4 May 2001.

Regional Consultations
Excerpts from the regional, high-level-meetings that were held in
2000-2001 in preparation for the Special Session on Children.

1. THE AFRICAN COMMON POSITION ...................................... PAGE 92

2. BEIJING DECLARATION ........................................................ PAGE 93

3. THE BERLIN COMMITMENT ................................................ PAGE 94

4. KATHMANDU UNDERSTANDING ............................................ PAGE 95

5. THE KINGSTON CONSENSUS ................................................ PAGE 96

6. PANAMA DECLARATION ...................................................... PAGE 97

7. THE RABAT DECLARATION .................................................. PAGE 98

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 91

The African Common Position

as adopted by
The Pan-African Forum for Children

As a contribution to the United Nations Special Session on Children, representatives from governments, civil
society, youth groups and other institutions came together at the Pan-African Forum held in Egypt, 28 to 31
May 2001, and adopted a common position. The basic principles of their plan of action are excerpted below.

■ “The challenge now is to reaffirm our tion have added to the plight of Africa’s digms for tomorrow. We cannot afford
commitment to ensure that the goals of children. Youth has been overlooked in to give up on another decade of African
today are met. We recognize that the national and international action and children and youth. Africa’s children
future of Africa lies with the well-being policy-making, and the links between need to enjoy their rights to health,
of its children and youth. The prospect children and youth have been too long education and training now. At the
for the socio-economic transformation neglected. But the energy and commit- same time, they must assume their
of the continent rests with investing in ment of youth represent a formidable responsibilities.
the young people of the continent. Today’s force for positive change. They will
■ We submit that the special needs of
investment in children is tomorrow’s determine which direction Africa takes
Africa’s children have to date not been
peace, stability, security, democracy and in the coming decades. The children and
adequately reflected in international
sustainable development. We acknowl- the youth are our greatest untapped
policies and programmes. Africa’s chil-
edge that African children and youth resource.
dren and youth need and demand a
represent more than half of the conti- ■ We reaffirm that children have a right special place in all policy-making struc-
nent’s population. But their views have to enjoy a healthy environment for the tures and in the forthcoming United
not been sought concerning the press- realization of their physical, mental Nations General Assembly Special Ses-
ing social, economic and human rights and spiritual well-being. Equally they sion on Children. This Forum is intended
issues that directly affect them. Africa’s have a duty to participate in activities that to articulate those special needs: its
young voices must not be ignored; they rehabilitate or protect the environment. recommendations must be specific and
must be heard. relevant to Africa. The concerns of chil-
■ We are deeply concerned that Africa
■ We affirm that responding to the needs dren and youth in Africa must be at the
continues to be plagued by war and
of Africa’s children is an imperative. centre of the global agenda.
armed conflicts which have an enor-
Children should be at the core of prior- mous and disproportionate negative ■ We stress that responsibility for realiz-
ities for policy makers. Africa’s chil- impact on the civilian population, par- ing the Rights of the Child falls at all
dren are indispensable actors for the ticularly children and women, a situa- levels, children, youth, on families, on
present and future of our continent. tion in which the human rights of communities, on civil society, on the pri-
■ We note that Africa’s children in many children can never be fully realized. vate sector, on national governments,
ways are the most disadvantaged in the on subregional and regional organi-
■ We reaffirm Africa’s commitments to
world. Their lives are often too short zations and on the international com-
peaceful co-existence and the settle-
and their life-chances are too limited. munity. The agenda of ‘Africa Fit for
ment of disputes through negotiations,
They are exposed to violence and Children’ must ignite real commitment,
dialogue and reconciliation as an es-
HIV/AIDS infection; they are deprived of sustained resolve and concrete action.
sential condition for the creation of a
education; they are vulnerable to mal- child and youth friendly and conducive ■ More than ten years after the historic
nutrition and disease. The special needs environment for the protection, survival, World Summit for Children, and the
and demands of Africa’s children and growth and development of children adoption of the World Declaration and
youth require focused attention now and youth. Plan of Action that set specific goals
and in the coming years. Africa’s chil- for child rights and welfare to be met
■ We admit that although some progress
dren need full support and commit- by 2000, we are in a position to evalu-
has been achieved, the record of the
ment and they need it now. ate progress. (See Annex.) Much has
last eleven years is still unsatisfactory.
■ We note further that Africa’s youth are been achieved, but many promises and
Overall, Africa’s children have lost
facing a future affected by violence and aspirations remain to be met. Some of
another decade, and with the fore-
poverty, and all-too-often foreshort- the shortcomings have arisen from
seen but unprevented tragedy of the
ened by HIV/AIDS, malaria and other external factors, while others are our
HIV/AIDS pandemic, Africa stands in
pandemics. We also note that natural own responsibility.
danger of losing a generation. This
and man-made disasters as well as the record compels us to recognize our ■ We reaffirm the principle of the univer-
negative impact of external debt servic- neglect of basic obligations, and chal- sality of the rights of children within the
ing, globalization and trade liberaliza- lenges us to adopt alternative para- framework of positive cultural diversity.”

92 R E G I O N A L C O N S U LT A T I O N S

Beijing Declaration
on Commitments for Children
in the East Asia and Pacific Region for 2001 – 2010

Meeting at the Fifth East Asia and Pacific Ministerial Consultation held on 14 to 16 May 2001 in Beijing,
delegates from 21 countries in the region unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration. The Declaration
included the following set of principles and strategies as the basis for their actions in meeting their respon-
sibilities to protect the rights of children.

■ “Support a global movement for chil- ■ Expand the strategic alliances and part- also marginalized many poor coun-
dren and a child friendly society through nerships for children at all levels for tries. Consequentially, it is necessary
expanded community mobilization, the implementation of integrated, multi- to review trade policies and commit-
including children and youth, in co- sectoral and multidisciplinary pro- ments which may have adverse effects
operation with government, civil society grammes for children; on children and provide social safety nets
and the private sector; and national protection mechanisms to
■ Prevent and minimize the negative
protect children and their families from
■ Monitor and evaluate achievements in impact of man-made and natural dis-
the negative effects of globalization;
terms of the fulfillment of the provisions of asters through better preparation and
the Convention on the Rights of the Child; strengthened social services including ■ Harness the opportunities offered by
the provision of safety nets for those the global information and communi-
■ Mainstream children’s well-being at cation revolution and use, in the most
the centre of the national agenda, as effective way possible, new technolo-
the most important indicator of national ■ Strengthen mechanisms for the em-
gies that can benefit children and
economic and social progress, and powerment of children and adolescents
women. At the same time protect chil-
allocate sufficient resources for invest- in the consideration of their concerns
dren from their harmful effects;
ing in children; and in the formulation, implementation
and evaluation of appropriate actions ■ Ensure the best interest of the child in
■ Promote and protect the best interests to address those concerns; all programmes and at all levels and
of all children by focusing on critical sectors by ensuring good governance
stages in the life of a child when inter- ■ Recognise and support parents and
and transparency;
ventions will have the greatest and families as the primary caretakers of
most lasting effect. As such we will children and strengthen their capacity ■ Build upon lessons learned and devel-
ensure that all children have: to provide the optimum care, nurturing op a better understanding of the suc-
and protection; cess factors that improve the efficacy
■ The best start to life through optimal and efficiency of interventions and
early childhood care and develop- ■ Strengthen the capacities of social
ment, universal birth registration services providers and other care givers
and the right to acquire a nationality; for the greater development, protection ■ Develop a strong disaggregated infor-
and care of children; mation base to help assess problems,
■ A basic education of high quality; develop solutions, target interventions
■ Welcome the sharing of the responsi-
■ The opportunity to develop fully their and monitor and evaluate results.
bility to ensure the well-being of children
individual capacities and to partici- Recognise the value of measurable
with communities; local governments;
pate in and contribute to their soci- indicators and targets as benchmarks
social, cultural, religious, business,
eties, especially during adolescence; of success or failure and;
local people’s and children’s organiza-
■ Encourage the formulation and sub- tions; and civil society, including the ■ Develop indicators and systems, with
sequent implementation of national media. Within this, support the em- inputs from children and those con-
plans of action for this decade with powerment of other organizations to cerned, for monitoring the situation
play a greater role in contributing to and progress of poor and vulnerable
inputs from children, parents and com-
the best interests of children; groups, down to the lowest administra-
munities, consistent with the goals and
tive level.”
targets of the forthcoming Special Ses- ■ Give priority to developing sustainable
sion on Children of the United Nations solutions and systems for improving
General Assembly; the situation for children by fully in-
volving children and their communities;
■ Strengthen the capacity of national and
sub-national institutions to implement ■ Recognise that although globalization
integrated national plans of action, has facilitated economic growth and
within a decentralized system; development in many instances, it has

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 93

The Berlin Commitment

for Children of
Europe and Central Asia

Following a series of regional consultations, delegates from 52 European and Central Asian countries and
the Holy See, met in Berlin, 16 to 18 May 2001 in a high-level meeting organized by the Governments of
Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina in preparation for the United Nations Special Session on Children.
Their discussions resulted in 20 specific commitments for improving the lives of children and young people,
the basis of which is excerpted below.

■ “Recognising that progress has been right to grow up in a healthy, safe and ■ Also aware of the increasing numbers
achieved during the past decade in ful- supportive family and community envi- of children of Europe and Central Asia
filling the rights of the child throughout ronment which results in growing at risk of all forms of abuse and vio-
Europe and Central Asia, in particular numbers of children at risk of social lence, such as corporal punishment,
with regard to commitments taken at exclusion, in significant increases in sexual and economic exploitation, the
the 1990 World Summit for Children morbidity, stunting of growth and child worst forms of child labour, trafficking
and the obligations under the Con- development delay as a consequence and homelessness,
vention on the Rights of the Child, uni- of poor quality of care as well as in
■ Concerned that armed conflicts and
versally ratified by countries of Europe reduced numbers of children partici-
natural disasters continue to affect and
and Central Asia, pating in basic education programmes
destroy the lives of children in Europe
■ Welcoming the important contribution and increased rates of juvenile delin-
and Central Asia and in this regard
of civil society, non-governmental organ- quency, accidents and suicides,
stressing the need for a growing aware-
isations, the private sector, and regional ■ Recognising that much still needs to be ness of protecting children’s rights in
and international organisations, espe- done to improve the health and social conflict situations as well as the impor-
cially the UN System, the Council of environment for children as well as the tance of protecting children from envi-
Europe, the OSCE, the European Union quality and relevance of educational ronmental threats such as chemical
and the Commonwealth of Independent programmes, and that low and/or de- contamination and nuclear pollution and
States, to the implementation of the clining public expenditure in the coun- of ensuring that children grow up and
Convention on the Rights of the Child, tries in transition caused by overall live in an environment that is conducive
■ Also welcoming that children through- financial constraints and other factors, to the highest attainable level of health,
out Europe and Central Asia are continues to affect the provision of social
■ Aware of the fact that children belong-
increasingly acknowledged as subjects services for children and their access to
ing to minorities, internally displaced,
of human rights and that government quality education and health care,
refugee and migrant children, state-
strategies and legal frameworks, ad- ■ Stressing the need to ensure support, less children, children with disabilities
ministrative policies and practices pro- including through the restructuring of and children infected with HIV and
gressively respect the right of the child national budgets, international aid suffering from AIDS are at special risk
to participate in social life and to par- flows, and appropriate foreign invest- of being victims of discrimination,
take in the decision-making processes ments, for the implementation of social and are in need of, and have the right
which affect their lives, reforms and programmes aimed at to, special protection, inclusion and
■ Bearing in mind our responsibility towards promoting and protecting the rights of participation,
future generations, which implies, inter the child in the countries of Europe and
■ Taking note of the results of regional
alia, that any action undertaken today, Central Asia, particularly in the coun-
and sub-regional preparatory confer-
must not endanger the enjoyment by tries in transition,
ences and consultations, including the
our children of their human rights, ■ Concerned at the rise in tuberculosis, proposals submitted by young people
■ Recognising that poverty and eco- malaria, sexually transmitted diseases, and civil society organisations working
nomic and social disparities, including anaemia and iodine deficiency dis- for children’s rights, and welcoming the
growing income inequalities especially orders in the countries in transition Political Message from the Committee
in the countries in transition, lack of and noting with concern that HIV/AIDS of Ministers of the Council of Europe for
opportunities for leisure and recreation continues to spread in many countries communication to the Special Session,
and changes in family structures limit of Europe and Central Asia, greatly
■ Aiming to contribute in collaboration
the chances of children of fully devel- affecting those under 18 years of age
with the UN System, civil society and
oping their personalities, mental and and increasingly girls,
children themselves to the prepara-
physical abilities, and of growing into
■ Aware of the negative impact of an tions for the United Nations General
a fulfilled adulthood,
increasing level of substance abuse, Assembly Special Session on Children
■ Concerned that a growing number of including alcohol, tobacco and illicit and to further the development and
children, particularly in the countries in drugs, on children’s and young people’s implementation of actions for children
transition, are being deprived of their physical and mental health, in the next decade.”

94 R E G I O N A L C O N S U LT A T I O N S

Kathmandu Understanding
Investing in Children in South Asia

In May 2001, delegations from seven South Asian countries, including ministers of finance and planning,
corporate leaders and young activists known as the ‘Change Makers’, met together in the South Asia High
Level Meeting on Investing in Children. They issued the Kathmandu Understanding as an outcome of the
meeting, part of which is excerpted below.

“WE agree that children are the future of ship to ensure adequate, timely and pro- them in decisions that affect them at all
our nations and, therefore, investing in ductive investments in fulfilling the rights levels;
children should be a national priority…. and achieving the well-being of all chil-
■ Recognise the importance of partner-
dren in South Asia, and in strategies
ships between government, private and
WE affirm, therefore, that investing in towards poverty alleviation.
corporate sector, civil society organi-
children is a priority issue and that poverty
sations, communities, individuals, chil-
reduction should begin with children. WE call upon the international community dren, international organisations and
to create a supportive environment for media;
WE affirm, once again, that there is no the survival, development and protection
greater investment than laying a stable of children and promote a non-violent, ■ Call for the sharing of national experi-
foundation for every child by ensuring non-exploitative international order. We ences and best practices, and common
the fulfilment of rights as enshrined in urge the donor countries to meet all their strategies, which reach families and
the Convention on the Rights of the Child commitments under the Convention on communities at the grassroots level for
(CRC). It is our obligation to allocate the the Rights of the Child, implement mea- fulfilling the rights of children;
required financial resources and take all sures for debt relief, assess and monitor ■ Recognise the importance of regular
requisite actions towards the survival and the impact of sanctions on children and monitoring and review of progress as
development of all children in South Asia. ensure humanitarian exemptions that are part of the accountability for results;
This covers good health and nutrition of child focused to address the possible
the populations, especially infants, ado- adverse effects of the sanctions. We also ■ Propose that this Kathmandu Under-
lescents and women, quality education for urge donor countries to earmark a higher standing be brought to the attention of
girls and boys, improved drinking water percentage of their Official Development UN General Assembly Special Session
and environmental sanitation, and protec- Assistance for the welfare of children under and the Third Special Session of the
tion of children from all forms of discrim- Standing Committee of SAARC which
the 20/20 Initiative. We urge UNICEF and
ination, exploitation, violence and abuse, will meet in Colombo 8-9 June 2001,
our development partners to reaffirm, in
trafficking, and hazardous and exploita- which provides another opportunity for
spirit and in actions, the need for struc-
tive forms of child labour. We recognise a common position to be taken by our
tural adjustment with a human face, and
the urgent need to protect adolescents countries to the UN Special Session.
trade and tariff arrangements for prefer-
and young people from HIV/AIDS and ential access to developed country markets.
children affected by armed conflict. WE pledge to work towards the imple-
mentation of this Understanding.”
Noting the situation of children in South
WE recognise that universal access to Asia we:
quality education is the critical founda-
■ Reaffirm our commitments to accelerate
tion for economic growth. However, the
progress to achieve the goals for chil-
quality of education and learning avail-
able to the majority of our children is a dren agreed at the World Summit for
matter of great concern. We strongly Children in 1990 and the 1996 SAARC
affirm that South Asia cannot afford dis- Ministerial Conference on Children;
parities in education between boys and ■ Support and call for increasingly greater
girls. Efforts, therefore, must be intensi- investment in children;
fied to achieve gender parity in access
■ Urge our development partners to
and learning.
enhance their aid and assistance to
support higher investment in children
WE recognise that governments, the cor-
in South Asia;
porate sector, civil society, communities,
young people, international organisa- ■ Recognise the need to listen to children
tions and media need to work in partner- and actively explore ways of involving

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 95

The Kingston Consensus

Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Children
and Social Policy in the Americas

Ministers and government representatives met in Kingston, Jamaica, on 9-13 October 2000 for the Fifth
Ministerial Meeting on Children and Social Policy in the Americas. The Kingston meeting was the first of the
regional consultations held in preparation for the Special Session on Children. The following is excerpted
from the Consensus statement.

“(We) are determined to: dards for child protection. Further, to children, adolescents, and adults who
take such steps as are needed to pro- have not benefited from formal educa-
■ Make every necessary effort so that vide training in human rights and in tion or have dropped out of school.
children and adolescents have oppor- the administration of justice for chil- Special attention should be given to
tunities to fully develop their physical, dren and adolescents, to all those disadvantaged children and adoles-
mental, spiritual, moral, and social involved with children and adolescents cents, such as those with disabilities,
capacities and to guarantee and pro- in conflict with the law. those living with and affected by
mote respect for human rights. HIV/AIDS, adolescent mothers, and
■ Ensure the rights of children and ado-
those in conflict with the law.
■ Develop and implement integrated lescents with different abilities, including
policies and actions aimed at breaking those with disabilities, to appropriate ■ Urge all countries to consider signing,
the inter-generational cycles of poverty, services, attention, and education ade- ratifying and implementing all interna-
and eradicating exclusion, discrimination quate to their capacities. Similarly, to tional legal instruments relating to the
and lack of respect for human rights. create mechanisms to support their rights of children, in particular, … These
■ Promote actions and mechanisms to families and/or caregivers and their legal instruments represent major ad-
maximize the participation of children full integration into the society. vances in the international effort to
and adolescents in decision-making in strengthen and enforce legal norms and
■ Encourage the partnership between
all matters that directly and indirectly national plans of action for the protec-
governments and civil society to assist
affect them. tion of the most vulnerable children.
children and adolescents to develop
■ Support the creation of mechanisms values that promote human rights and ■ Call on donor and creditor countries
that facilitate the participation of civil equality, peace, tolerance, justice, soli- and international financial institutions
society in all matters that affect children darity and equitable gender relations. to consider accelerating the adoption
and adolescents. of concrete ways to relieve the public
■ Continue progress towards universal ac-
debt burden.…
■ Promote actions to eliminate discrimi- cess to comprehensive health services,
nation and exclusion of ethnic groups, including effective prevention, early ■ Reaffirm the implementation of the
religious groups, linguistic or other intervention, treatment and rehabilita- 20/20 Initiative.…
minorities or indigenous peoples, and tion strategies. Also, increase knowledge
■ Increase horizontal technical coopera-
to strengthen their diverse cultural of adolescents and children about sex-
tion between countries in order to share
identities. ual and reproductive health, with spe-
positive experiences and strategies
cial emphasis on HIV/AIDS and other
■ Ensure the protection of children and which can help to accelerate the pro-
sexually transmitted infections.
adolescents from all forms of abuse, in- cesses necessary for achieving the
cluding injury, violence, neglect, sexual ■ Progress toward universal high quality agreed goals.…
abuse, commercial exploitation, sale and early childhood and primary education
■ Recognize that equitable sustainable
traffic, forced labour, and from forced in an environment that promotes the
human development could be facili-
or compulsory recruitment for armed full development of children and ado-
tated if the rights and well-being of
conflicts.… lescents, instills respect for human
children are promoted and protected.
rights, and prepares them for respon-
■ Ensure the protection of children and The individual development of children
sible life in society.
adolescents from all forms of discrimi- is intrinsically connected to the devel-
nation and harm, and support policies, ■ Increase resources, based on availabil- opment of the human society, thus
plans and programmes to advance ity, for comprehensive early childhood shaping the future of the world.
equality and respect for them. care and development to ensure better
■ Respond to the unexpected challenges
learning outcomes, reduce inequali-
■ Ensure that every child and adolescent which will arise, that this Consensus
ties, and ensure fulfillment of human
in conflict with the law has due process does not address. In all such cases,
rights. Cooperate with civil society and
and is treated in accordance with the decisions will be based on the princi-
families to support proper health,
relevant principles and provisions of ples of non-discrimination, best inter-
nutrition, and education.
the Convention on the Rights of the ests of the child, maximum survival
Child and other international and ■ Develop and implement programmes and development, and participation of
national legal instruments and stan- geared to creating opportunities for children and adolescents.”

96 R E G I O N A L C O N S U LT A T I O N S

Panama Declaration
United for Children and Adolescents,
on the Basis of Justice and Equity in the New Millennium

Heads of State and Government of the 21 Ibero-American countries met in Panama City at the Tenth Ibero-
American Summit from 17 to 18 November 2000 and issued a call for renewed efforts to protect the rights
of children. Their extended Declaration was based on the following preamble.

“We, the Heads of State and Government Convinced that the expansion of inter- revealed by a number of indicators, call
of the 21 Ibero-American countries meet- national trade is vitally important to the for a renewed collective effort to consoli-
ing in Panama City on the occasion of the prosperity of our countries, we reiterate date positive trends and guarantee effec-
Tenth Ibero-American Summit, on 17 and our individual and collective commitment tive observance of the rights of children
18 November 2000, and convinced that to develop a multilateral trade system that and adolescents.
in order to achieve sustainable human is free, open, non-discriminatory, secure
development, democratic consolidation, and transparent; regional integration; We also wish to stress that the infant and
equity, and social justice, based on the open regionalism, and the deepening of adolescent population constitutes an age
principles of the universality, indivisibil- economic relations between the different group that is, by its very nature, particu-
ity, and interdependence of human rights, regions of the world, under conditions of larly affected by negative socio-economic
it is essential that special attention be equity. factors, which must be dealt with deci-
devoted to children and adolescents, have sively, in order to eliminate or significantly
once again decided to consider together In consequence, we vigorously reject reduce the damaging effects of the weak-
the situation of the children and ado- any extraterritorial application of national ening of the social and family fabric
lescents of Ibero-America, with a view to laws or unilateral measures implemented caused by circumstances such as family
formulating policies and promoting pro- in contravention of international law, the abandonment, irresponsible fatherhood,
grammes and actions designed to ensure United Nations Charter, or the prevailing and conflicts with the law.
the respect of their rights, well-being and laws of international trade. We therefore
overall development. reiterate the urgent need to abolish such We recognize the fundamental impor-
measures and once more urge the United tance of children and adolescents as
We welcome the progress made since our States of America to end its implemen- holders of rights in our societies, and the
first Summit, held in Guadalajara, Mexico, tation of the Helms-Burton Act, in accor- guiding regulatory role of the State in the
and note with satisfaction the deep af- dance with the pertinent resolutions of design and execution of social policies
finities that unite and consolidate the the United Nations General Assembly. that are intended for the benefit of chil-
Ibero-American community of nations, as dren and adolescents and serve to guar-
a privileged forum for political dialogue We also wish to stress that the total antee their rights, and we reiterate our
and solidarity, which plays an increas- population of all our countries will soon determination to build the foundations
ingly active and influential role on the reach six hundred million people, and for the full development of their potential
international stage. that children and adolescents make up and social integration, in the light of the
the majority of our people and are a opportunities and challenges offered by
We reaffirm our commitment to the pro- source of creativity, energy, dynamism, today’s global marketplace.
motion and defence of democracy and initiative and social renewal.
the state of law; political pluralism and We therefore reaffirm our commitment to
cultural identity; and human rights in We are delighted that most of our coun- the principles and goals enshrined in the
their civil, political, economic, social and tries have succeeded in reducing mortal- United Nations Convention on the Rights
cultural aspects, including the right to ity rates among infants and children of the Child and in other conventions, dec-
development, respect for the principles of under 5, and in eradicating certain im- larations and international instruments,
sovereignty and territorial integrity, non- munopreventible diseases, as well as in both universal and regional, through
intervention, the non-use of force, and of increasing enrolment and graduation which our Governments undertake to
the threat to use force, in international rates in primary education and in reduc- guarantee respect for the rights of chil-
relations, the peaceful resolution of dis- ing illiteracy. However, the persistence of dren and adolescents, their access to a
putes, and the right of all peoples to con- high rates of poverty and extreme pover- higher standard of well-being, and their
struct their political systems freely, under ty, of situations of social exclusion and effective participation in comprehensive
conditions of peace, stability and justice. socio-economic inequality, and of inade- development programmes.”
These principles are part of our legacy to quate sanitation and health services, and
Ibero-American children and adolescents. the shortcomings and backwardness

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 97

The Rabat Declaration

Arab Regional Civil Society Forum on Children

The Arab Regional Civil Society Forum on Children brought together in Rabat, Morocco, 15-19 February 2001,
some 250 participants from 21 countries, representing NGOs, parliamentarians, media, and young people.
The meeting was convened by four parties: the Arab Council for Childhood and Development, the Arab
Institute for Human Rights, the Moroccan Observatory for the Rights of the Child and UNICEF. It discussed
27 papers covering the themes of the situation of children in the region, building a culture of child rights,
early childhood, education, access to IT, adolescence, conflict, poverty, child labour, and the roles of civil
society members in the Global Movement for Children. The Forum issued the Rabat Declaration.

■ “Whereas World leaders assembled at into partnerships at both the regional combined will coincides with the will of
the United Nations Headquarters more and international levels; the international community;
than a decade ago, in 1990, and adopted
■ Based on the belief that the future of ■ That they shall call upon regional and
the World Declaration on the Survival,
children depends on the realisation of international organisations, as well
Protection and Development of Chil-
their aspirations to live in a world fit for as States, Governments and leaders
dren and a Plan of Action for imple-
children, one that embraces their views world-wide, to be closely bound by the
menting the Declaration in the 1990s;
and abilities and their strong and rich Convention and to draw economic and
■ Whereas the Arab States, were among wills as citizens with rights and opinions, developmental policies for the benefit
those in the international community thus predicating their participation in of children and their lives, their safety
who committed themselves to the political, economic and social decisions; and their dignity in a world of complete
Declaration and pledged to implement equality, free from wars, sanctions and
■ Whereas the survival and development
its provisions and activate its princi- diseases;
of children is a moral humanitarian pur-
ples in order to ensure better condi-
suit and a responsibility that falls on all ■ That they shall make child participation
tions for children’s present and future;
parties of society, hence necessitating and contribution one of their objec-
■ Whereas the Convention on the Rights the enhancement of partnerships, the tives, based on the firmly-established
of the Child (CRC) aims to protect chil- establishment of inter-country rela- conviction that building the future of
dren in the areas of health and educa- tions among non-governmental organ- children can only be achieved through
tion and to fulfil nourishing conditions isations, and the optimum utilisation and with children themselves;
within the child’s family in an environ- of all available human and financial
■ That they shall leave no stone unturned
ment of well-being and stability, far resources for the promotion of eco-
in urging Arab Governments to rise to
from all fanaticism or hate, and in an nomic policies vis-à-vis children’s pro-
their duty of safeguarding and guaran-
atmosphere that protects children grams in various fields, with the aim of
teeing the rights of children, adoles-
against the tragedies of violence, mur- bridging disparities and alleviating
cents and youth and of providing all
der or wars; poverty in order to achieve a new world
the facilities and mechanisms neces-
order that serves childhood, instead
■ Whereas Governments in the Arab sary for building children’s capacities
one that aggravates the misfortunes of
region are committed to taking the ini- and responding to their needs. In this
children and accelerates their demise;
tiatives and steps required for facilitat- context, the Arab Governments shall be
ing the implementation of the spirit of ■ The Arab and Regional non-governmental urged to ensure that national legisla-
the Convention and for adopting effec- organisations and civil society repre- tion conform with the spirit and con-
tive approaches to change the state of sentatives, meeting in Rabat between tents of the Convention on the Rights of
childhood and to provide all the oppor- 15 and 19 February 2001, at the invita- the Child; to endorse all human rights
tunities for children to live in a world fit tion of the Arab Council for Childhood protocol and to lift their reservations
for children and free from discrimination; and Development, the Arab Institute vis-à-vis these conventions; to enhance
for Human Rights, Morocco’s National the realm of basic freedoms and to
■ Recognising the important role of Civil
Observatory for Child Rights and respect opposing views in a democratic
Society Organisations in designing,
UNICEF, emphasise the following: manner in a State built on a foundation
managing and following-up of the
of rights and the law;
implementation of the Convention, or ■ That they shall work in coordination and
in terms of drawing the attention of, partnership with each other to employ ■ That they shall renew their commitment
proposing to, or pressuring political all their efforts, experiences and capa- to working towards lifting sanctions
leaderships, Governments, the private bilities for the best interest of child- and boycotts, advocating the cessation
sector and parliaments to adopt strate- hood throughout the world in general, of wars, armed conflicts and occupation
gies for advancing the situation of chil- and in the Arab World in particular, in and alleviating their devastating effects
dren, developing suitable approaches order to activate the values inherent in on victimised children in Palestine, Iraq,
and passing laws for that purpose, in the Convention on the Rights of the Sudan, Libya, Somalia, the Occupied
addition to coordinating and entering Child as a minimum upon which their Golan Heights and elsewhere.”

98 R E G I O N A L C O N S U LT A T I O N S
A Better Parenting Project (Jordan), 54 children, sale of, 64, 69
Abdullayev, Namiq, 45 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 14, 23 Chile, 31, 45
abuse of children, 26, 64 birthright, 73 China, 2, 29
sexual, 37, 41, 61, 69 births Chomsky, Noam, 36
adolescents, 59, 61 official registration of, 13 Cisco Systems Inc., 29, 45
in Jamaica, 26-27 unregistered, 24 cloning, 17
juvenile justice programmes for, 28 Bitar, Hania, 36 Coca-Cola Company, 27
opinions of, 38, 41-43 blindness, 14, 15 COLIBRI (Peru), 11
Afghanistan, 21, 58 Bolivia, 39-40 Colombia, 42, 57
Africa Bonino, Emma, 21 Commonwealth of Independent States
Botswana, 24, 25, 53 (CIS), 49, 90
children’s parliaments in, 41, 43
Brazil, 17, 27-29, 35, 45 conflict
Global Movement for Children in, 49, 73
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, 29 opinions of children on, 42
HIV/AIDS epidemic in, 25, 29, 56
Brown, Gordon, 67 see also violence; warfare’s impact on
African Girls’ Education Initiative, 57
Agwanda, Caroline Awuor, 15 Bulgaria, 48
Convention on the Rights of the Child
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency Bulnes, Mirna, 68
(1989), 11, 27, 31, 35, 39, 43, 55, 57,
syndrome), 21, 23, 25 Burkina Faso, 48 58, 61, 62, 93-98
in Brazil, 27-29 on children’s opinions, 39
child mortality from, 24 C education as right under, 57
children with, in South Africa, 40, 43 Cambodia, 26, 27, 45
on education for girls, 57
education on, in Malawi, 56 Canada, Geoffrey, 23
influence of, 43
infant mortality and, 13 Candlelight for Health and Education
Optional Protocol to, on the involvement
(Somalia), 39
in Malawi, 56 of children in armed conflict, 62
Cape Verde, 27
in Morocco, 73 Optional Protocol to, on sale of children,
Cardoso, Fernando Henrique, 29 child prostitution and child
opinions of children on, 38, 40
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), 38, 41, pornography, 64
Allende, Isabel, 31
49, 90, 94 responsibilities under, 61
Annan, Kofi, 23
Chadzamakono, Martha, 56 on rights of adolescents, 61
Arévalo, Carlos, 11
Change Makers, The (Nepal), 70 in Venezuela’s Constitution, 27
Aristide, Jean-Bertrand, 48
child abuse, 26, 33, 37, 55, 71, 94-96 corporal punishment, 28, 37, 94
Ariunaa, 48
sexual, 37, 41, 61, 64, 69 corporate leadership, 27, 70, 95
armed conflicts, children in, 42, 62
childbirth, maternal mortality during, 12, Costa Rica, 21, 52, 53
armed forces, children drafted into, 61, 62 88
Côte d’Ivoire, 45
Asinsaun, Henita, 13 child labour, 27, 57, 59, 61, 62, 64, 70,
Cuba, 53
Azerbaijan, 25, 40, 41, 45 72, 94, 96
Azerbaijan Child to Child Peace Network, 25 child mortality, from AIDS, 13, 24
child pornogaphy, 64
Dadashev, Farid, 25
B child prostitution, 52, 64
Badakhshan (Afghanistan), 58 child rights, see rights of children
child mortality from AIDS, 13, 24
Bangladesh, 29, 48 children
infant mortality, 10, 13, 14, 19, 21, 26,
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee discrimination against, 41, 43, 45 86
(BRAC), 37, 45
Global Movement for, 43, 49, 67, 69, 73, maternal mortality, 12, 17, 70, 88
Barang, Bun, 27 93, 98
debt relief, 61, 63, 65, 71, 95
Barbados, 53 importance of early years of, 53-55
Denmark, 65
Barros, Ambar de, 17 opinion polls of, 38
developing countries
basic social services, 53, 63, 71 participating in United Nations Special
economic aid to, 63, 65, 67, 69
Battacharya, Kuheli, 19 Session on Children, 43, 70
malnutrition in, 15, 16
Belgium, 45, 65 participation by, 39, 41
Berlin (Germany), 70 polling opinions of, 40, 41

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 99
need for leadership on behalf of children G I
in, 53
Galeano, Eduardo, 31 I Am Your Child Foundation, 57
responsibilities of, 61, 63
García Marquez, Gabriel, 31 Ibero-American Summit (Panama), 70
UNICEF study of, 53
Gayoom, H.E. Maumoon Abdul, 19 immunizations, 10, 14, 15
Diallo, Aminata, 27
Gbagbo, 45 in Afghanistan, 21
diarrhoea, 13, 14, 15, 86
Germany, 29, 30, 65 national campaigns for, 26
Diawara, Demba, 20
Ghana, 48 in Senegal, 27
girls indebtedness, 63, 65, 67
against children, 39, 41, 43
as adolescents, 59, 61 India, 13, 19, 29-31, 52-72
against women and girls, opinions of
in Bangladesh, 37 ECD programmes in, 55, 57
children on, 52
discrimination against, 52 Kerala state in, 53
opinions of children on, 52
education of, 57 Nagaland in, 34
domestic violence, 37, 38
education of, in Afghanistan, 58 industrialized countries
E female genital mutilation (FGM) of, economic aid to poorer countries from,
19-21, 55 63, 65, 67
early childhood development (ECD), 53,55,
56, 57 GlaxoSmithKline (firm), 29 HIV/AIDS epidemic in, 21
in Jordan, 54 Global Alliance for Vaccines and infant mortality, 10, 13, 19
Immunization (GAVI), 14 Instituto Ethos (Brazil), 35
earthquakes, 30, 66
Global Business Council on HIV and AIDS, International Conference of the Red Cross
East Asia, 10, 12, 13, 18, 22, 38, 51
27 and Red Crescent, 62
East Timor, 38, 68
globalization, 63 International Labour Organization, 64
economic aid to poorer countries, 63-69
Global Movement for Children, 43-45, 71, International Space Station, 19
education 75
Internet, 17, 43, 64
of girls, during adolescence, 59, 61 Rallying call of, 34, 43, 49
iodine deficiency, 15, 87, 94
of girls, in Afghanistan, 58 Grajew, Oded, 35
iodized salt, 14, 15, 16, 87
on HIV/AIDS, in Malawi, 56 GrameenPhone (firm), 29
Iqui Balam (Guatemala), 39
leadership in, 17,19, 21 Guatemala, 35, 37, 39
Irianingsih, Sri, 67
in Malawi, 26 guinea worm disease, 15
Ismail, Shukri, 39
opinions of children on, 38, 72 Guyana, 63
Italy, 65
as right and investment, 57, 58, 59
H Ito, Nenita, 14
teachers for, 60
in UNICEF study of developing countries, Habash, Saleem, 36
Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib)
Jacha, Rodwell, 41
World Summit for Children goals for, 15, vaccine, 14
22 Jamaica, 26-27, 30, 48, 96
Haiti, 25, 48
El Salvador, 21, 30, 66 Johnson, Nkosi, 40, 43
Ethiopia, 40, 42, 52, 72 Jordan, 48, 52, 54
AIDS and HIV, 13, 21-25, 29-31
juvenile justice programmes, 28
of women, 12, 17
F Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
families, 54 Initiative, 63, 65
female genital mutilation (FGM), 19, 20, Kenya, 24, 52, 55, 63, 72
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), 13,
21, 55 21, 23, 25 Kerala (India), 53
Figueres, José, 21 corporate leadership in combating, 27-31 Köhler, Horst, 67
Fontaine, Nicole, 39 education on, in Malawi, 53, 56 Korea, Republic of, 53
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 49 among girls, 56, 59, 61 Kufuor, John Agyekum, 48
Fuentes, Carlos, 31 opinions of children on, 38
Fundação Abrinq (Brazil), 35 L
Honduras, 48
Lagos Escobar, Ricardo, 45
Hubble Space Telescope, 17
Lagumdzija, Zlatko, 70
Hun Sen, 45

Lalla Fatima Zohra (princess, Morocco), 73 Moscoso, Mireya, 70 peace, opinions of children on, 25, 34, 36,
Lalla Meryem (princess, Morocco), 48 mothers, maternal mortality of, 12, 17, 38, 42
Lancelotti, Júlio, 45 70, 88 Perry (magistrate), 28
Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic, 26 Mozambique, 24, 31, 48, 60, 61, 65 Peru, 11, 30, 59, 73
Latin America Mseche, Teleza, 53 Pfizer (firm), 29
individual leadership in, 31 Museveni, Yoweri, 25 pharmaceutical companies, 14, 23, 29
polling opinions of children in, 38 Muuya, Leah, 55 Philippines, 14
poverty in, 63 My Future is My Choice (programme, Piot, Peter, 23
Namibia), 19 PLAN International UK, 35, 37, 43
on behalf of children’s rights, 19, 21, polio, 6, 13, 21, 26, 28, 86, 87
26, 36, 51, 53 Poniatowska, Elena, 31
Nagaland (India), 34
corporate, 27, 29, 31 pornogaphy, 64
Namibia, 19, 24, 28, 52
in Global Movement for Children, 43-49 poverty, 6, 25, 33, 39, 43, 44, 57, 61, 63,
National Immunization Days, 14, 21, 26 64, 66, 67, 69, 70, 72, 92, 94, 95, 96,
governmental, 19, 23, 28, 29, 53, 65, 67
natural disasters, 66, 93, 94 97, 98
by individuals, 33, 39, 67, 68
neonatal tetanus, 6, 13, 26, 86 children in, increase in, 39
learning, see education
Nepal, 70 environmental hazards tied to, 66
Lebanon, 70, 30, 45 HIV/AIDS epidemic and, 25
Liberia, 24, 28, 30, 42 Foundation, 19, 43 opinions of children on, 72
life skills education, 21, 28, 56, 61, 63, 90
Netherlands, 36, 65 pregnant women
M News Agency on Children’s Rights, (ANDI; AIDS education for, 25
Brazil), 17 prenatal care for, 17, 54, 88
Machel, Graça, 31
Nigeria, 49, 52 prostitution, child, 52, 64
Madagascar, 48
night-blindness, 14
Makednski Posti (firm, the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia), 49 Nokia (firm), 29 R
Malawi, 26, 40, 53, 56 Norway, 58, 65 Ragab, Ahmed R.A., 19
Malaysia, 53 Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), Rania Al-Abdullah (queen, Jordan), 48, 54
58 Ratsiraka, Didier, 48
Maldives, 19
nutrition Reiner, Rob, 57
Malewezi, Justin, 56
vitamin A deficiency (VAD), 14, 15, 87 rights of children, 11, 17, 19, 20, 21, 26,
malnutrition, 13, 15, 16, 25, 52, 87
World Summit for Children goals for, 14, 27, 35, 36, 37, 39, 43, 47, 48, 54, 57,
World Summit for Children goals for, 11,
15 59, 61, 62, 64, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 92,
13, 15
Nyerere, Julius, 19 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98
Mandela, Nelson, 31, 67, 73
of adolescents, 61
Marín, Rosemberg, 66 O education as, 11, 29, 38, 43, 57, 58
maternal mortality, 12, 17, 70, 88 Oman, 26 leadership in, 17, 19, 21, 31, 35, 36,
Mauritius, 26, 53 opinion polls, of children, 38, 39 37, 39, 48, 59, 63, 65, 73
measles, 13, 14, 25, 26, 86 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Roedy, William, 27
Melching, Molly, 20 Development (OECD), 59, 65, 67 Rojas, Agripina, 59
mental retardation, 15 Rosiati, Sri, 67
Mexico, 49, 71, 97 P
Mfumuwaa, Akosua, 49 Pacific Island nations, 26 S
Millennium Summit, 19, 23, 57, 61 Palestinians, 29, 36, 54, 98 Sábato, Ernesto, 31
Mkapa, Benjamin William, 49 Palestinian Youth Association for safe sex, 25, 40, 56
Leadership and Rights Activation Sall, Ourèye, 20
MobiNil (firm), 29
Moldova, 41 sanitation, 13, 15, 18, 53, 55, 89, 95, 97
parenting, 39, 43, 54, 55, 64
Mongolia, 48 Sarney, José, 27, 29
Pareyio, Agnes, 55
Moosa, Ali bin Mohammed bin, 26 Save the Children, 43, 44
Patterson, Percival J., 48
Morocco, 48, 70, 73, 98 Save the Children Alliance, 45

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 101
Say Yes for Children campaign (Global teachers, 19, 34, 37, 38, 43, 45, 54, 57, W
Movement for Children), 43, 45, 46, 48, 49 58, 61, 68, 69, 72
Warfare’s impact on children, 42
schooling, 26, 57, 58, 59, 90 women as, in Afghanistan, 58
in Liberia, 28, 42
buildings for, 37 tetanus, 13, 15, 26, 86
in Nagaland (India), 34
Segura, Boris, 21 Thailand, 25, 26, 38, 70
Optional Protocol of Convention on the
Senegal, 20, 27, 49 HIV/AIDS epidemic in, 25 Rights of the Child on, 62
Sengulane, Dinis, 61 immunization in, 26 Palestinians, 36
sexual abuse of children, 37, 41, 61, 69 international gathering of children in, 70 Washington Consensus, 63
child prostitution and pornography, 52, the former Yugoslav Republic of water, 13, 15, 18, 25, 53, 55, 89
64 Macedonia, 49
West Africa, 49
sexual activity, 24, 56, 64 Thomas, Zoe, 28
White, David, 28
sexual exploitation of children, 26, 59, 64, Tostan (NGO; Senegal), 20
Willie, Korlu, 28
70, 94, 96 Turkey, 49
Winterthur Insurance (firm), 23
social justice, children’s opinions on, 38
social services, 31, 36, 53, 54, 63, 68, 71, U
93, 94, 96, 97 discrimination against, 52
Uganda, 25, 29, 42, 65
Somalia, 19, 39, 72, 98 female genital cutting (FGC) of, 19, 20,
Soriano, Cecilia, 14 Better Parenting Project created by, 54
female genital mutilation (FGM) of, 19,
South Africa, 24, 28, 40, 48 developing countries studied by, 53 20, 21
children with AIDS in, 43 on educating girls, 57, 58 health of, 12, 17
Global Movement for Children in, 73 educational program in Liberia in Malawi, 26
Mandela’s leadership in, 31 sponsored by, 28
participation by, 39
Sullivan Principles on investing in, 65 on education for girls, in Afghanistan, 58
as teachers, in Afghanistan, 58
space exploration, 17 in Global Movement for Children, 43
World Education Forum, 57, 59, 84
Spain, 65, 67 opinions of children polled by, 38
World Health Organization (WHO), 14, 80
Special Session on Children, see United United Kingdom, 26, 30, 65, 67
World Summit for Children (New York,
Nations Special Session on Children United Nations Development Programme, 1990), 9-12
Sri Lanka, 42, 53 29, 48
drinking water and sanitation goals of,
Stoyanov, Petar, 45 United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, 57 15, 18
street children United Nations Global Compact, 29 education goals of, 15, 22
in Brazil, 17 United Nations Special Session on Children immunization goal of, 10, 13, 15
in Ethiopia, 31 (September 2001), 29, 43, 45, 49, 69,
infant mortality goal of, 10, 13
70, 71, 73
in Indonesia, 67 malnutrition goals of, 15-16
goals for, 70-73
in Peru, 11 maternal mortality goal of, 12
participation of adolescents in, 61
sub-Saharan Africa, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, nutrition goals of, 16
22, 51, 82, 84, 86, 87, 88 United States, 29, 42, 57, 63, 65, 67
protection of children goal of, 24
HIV/AIDS epidemic in, 29 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 30,
35, 57 vitamin A supplementation goal of,
immunization in, 15, 86 14-15
education as right under, 57
malnutrition in, 15, 87 World Vision, 43
Sullivan, Leon, 65 V
Suriname, 37 vaccines, see also immunizations, 14, 21,
Sweeden, 65 23, 26, 80 Yale University, 29
Syria, 27 Venezuela, 27 yellow fever, 14
Viet Nam, 40, 69 Youth Forum (Azerbaijan), 41
T violence, opinions of children on, 38, 42 youth parliaments, 41, 43
Taliban (Afghanistan), 58 vitamin A deficiency (VAD), 14, 15, 87
Tanzania, United Republic of, 19, 24, 49 voting, 38, 42
Tata Iron Company, 29 Zawadka, Lescek, 71
Vrcak, 49
Zimbabwe, 24, 41, 53

AIDS HIPC-qualified
acquired immune deficiency syndrome a poor country that carries an unsustainable debt burden,
as defined by the World Bank and the IMF, that does not
qualify for commercial loans and that can not bring its
Agência de Notícias dos Direitos da Infância (News
debt to a sustainable level even after the application of
Agency on Children’s Rights)
established debt relief mechanisms.
acute respiratory infection
human immunodeficiency virus
the acronym used for the antiretroviral drug zidovudine
International Monetary Fund
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee
Norwegian Afghanistan Committee
Central and Eastern Europe
non-governmental organization
Commonwealth of Independent States
maternal mortality ratio
three doses of combined diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus
Egyptian Company for Mobile Services
mother-to-child transmission (of HIV)
early childhood development
official development assistance
especially difficult circumstances
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
female genital cutting
female genital mutilation
Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights
FOKUPERS Activation
East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum
G7 Solidarity with Women in Distress
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom
and the United States
sexually transmitted infection
G7 plus the Russian Federation
A non-governmental organization based in Senegal. The
GAVI name Tostan means ‘breakthrough’ in Wolof.
Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization
GNP under-five mortality rate
gross national product
Hib vitamin A deficiency
Haemophilus influenzae type b
HIPC World Health Organization
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative

T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S C H I L D R E N 2 0 0 2 103
UNICEF Offices UNICEF The Americas and Caribbean
Regional Office
UNICEF Headquarters Clayton, Ciudad del Saber
UNICEF House Edificio 131
3 United Nations Plaza Panama City, Panama
New York, NY 10017, USA
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UNICEF Regional Office for Europe Regional Office
Palais des Nations P.O. Box 2-154
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UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa
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UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa P.O. Box 5815, Lekhnath Marg
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P.O. Box 44145
Nairobi, Kenya Further information is available at
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UNICEF West and Central Africa
Regional Office
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From “The State of the From children

The State of the World’s Children 2002

World’s Children 2002” around the world
“Can there be a more sacred duty than our obliga- “We want a world where there is no discrimination
tion to protect the rights of a child as vigilantly as between boys and girls, between the able and the
we protect the rights of every other person? Can disabled, between the rich and the poor. We want a
there be a greater test of leadership than the task healthy, safe and clean environment suitable for all.
of ensuring these freedoms for every child, in every And we want a decent education and opportunities
country, without exception? ” for play, instead of having to work.”
– Kofi A. Annan – The Change Makers
Secretary-General, United Nations representing children from eight countries in South Asia

“Ensuring the rights and well-being of children is “… but I am also confident that everybody will
the key to sustained development in a country and contribute to this change, and that we will all live
to peace and security in the world. Meeting this one day in a country with better opportunities for
responsibility, fully, consistently and at any cost, is social and economic progress.”
the essence of leadership. Heads of State and
– El Salvador
Government hold the lion’s share of this responsibil-
ity but commitment and action are also called for
“But when the government officials come to listen
across the board: from community activists and
to us, they do most of the talking and don’t let us
entrepreneurs, from artists and scientists, from
speak enough. They should listen more and let us
religious leaders and journalists – and from children
ask difficult questions.”
and adolescents themselves.”

– Ethiopia
– Carol Bellamy

The State of the World’s Children 2002

Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund
“Maybe they [families] want to listen and under-
stand me, but they react so quickly to whatever I
“The future of our children lies in leadership and

say that I decide to give up and next time not even
the choices leaders make."
start. So I tend to tell my problems to my friends,
– Graça Machel and Nelson Mandela but they don’t have the experience to guide me.”
The Global Movement for Children – Islamic Republic of Iran

“We must move children to the centre of the world’s “I like to live, and with all the problems in my life I
agenda. We must rewrite strategies to reduce pover- look forward to another new year.”
ty so that investments in children are given priority.” – Sri Lanka
– Nelson Mandela
Former President of South Africa

$12.95 in USA £7.95 net in UK

ISBN: 92-806-3667-7
Sales no.:E.02.xx.1