Presentation on theme: "Children, Poverty and Social Rights Seminar Child Poverty and Disparity: Implications for Public Policy in Egypt CEFRS and UNICEF 11 March 2008 Alberto."— Presentation transcript:
Children, Poverty and Social Rights Seminar Child Poverty and Disparity: Implications for Public Policy in Egypt CEFRS and UNICEF 11 March 2008 Alberto Minujin, The New School University, New York
Motivation: Increasing recognition of the importance of eradicating child poverty… But much more is needed… to affect policies…
Content: How human rights and poverty are linked? What is child poverty? Does equity for children matter? Why? What can be done? How to influence policy in favor of children and families?
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 PREAMBLE Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Approach: A human rights-based analysis
Freedom from what? Freedom from want Freedom from fear Freedom to live in dignity
Human rights and poverty Is there a right to equality? Is there a right not to be poor? Constitutive rights Instrumental rights Universality, equality and non-discrimination
Human Rights and Poverty,contd. Constitutive rights –Important to understand meaning of poverty –Right to food, health, etc Instrumental rights –They help realize constitutive rights –Such as right to work, vote, etc Some rights can be both constitutive and instrumental
Child Poverty and Child Rights Child poverty Child rights violations
CHILD POVERTY is an extensive global condition -- and a denial of rights, freedom and development
What is poverty to a child? The traditional poverty discourse as it relates to children is largely based on adult ideas and assumptions It gives prominence to survival and physical health impacts, with a particular focus on infants and under- fives. But is this the way children see it? but
What is poverty to a child? I feel bad. I feel like the odd one out…You lack self-esteem. You feel lonely. You feel ashamed. Like if you have only two underpants and you have to wear one and wash the other and hang it up to dry everyone will always see that you have only two – the red one and the green one – and you are alternating between them. 16 year-old girl, Rusinga, Kenya CCF Study
What is poverty to a child? Children understand poverty as a deeply physical, emotional and social experience This experience is felt acutely and minutely from an early age It is more about experience than about resources
So how do children respond? Children are not passive recipients of experience but active contributors to their own well-being and development
How children experience poverty Three inter-related domains Deprivation: A lack of material conditions and services Exclusion: A result of unjust processes through which childrens dignity, voice, and rights are denied Vulnerability: An inability of society to cope with existing or probable threats to children in their environment
Vulnerable Material Deprivations A Income poor B C Combining Different Approaches Excluded
Alternative definition of poverty and child poverty 1995 World Summit for Social Development definition of poverty –a condition characterized by insufficient access to food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information, taken as forms of deprivation. SOWC 2005 Children living in poverty are those who: –experience deprivation of the material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to survive, develop and thrive, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential or participate as full and equal members of society.
Different approaches, Different solutions Adult poverty (e.g. 1 US$ day, PL) CRC-based Child poverty Lack of Water and Sanitation Low Quality Schools Absence of clinics Lack of participation/respect/prote ction Solution Social Policy (integrated with, and as important as, economic policy) Economic Growth (social services take the back seat) Low Income Solution
Implications of Alternative Definitions Changes basis of the discussion Influences nature of the policy dialogue Focuses policy debates on social sectors Highlights discrimination, exclusion, inequality Integrates gender issues in policy debates Influences design of indicators, data/information gathering Emphasizes interdisciplinary approach, –Linking law, budgets, social policy
YES Ethical: Child Rights Principles (Universality, Non-discrimination,Indivisibility & Interdependency) Methodological Practical (Policies) Complement poverty analysis with disparity/distribution analysis
Human Rights: Disparities are exclusion from social rights and sometimes an expression of discrimination Children inequality matters: Why? Policy Programme implications: Narrowing gaps Human Rights Approach to Programming (HRBAP): Integrated programs Participation/empowerment Governance and accountability + =
Look beyond averages MDGs goals (U5MR, nutrition, education, etc) can be analyzed by: Gender Urban/rural Geographic location Wealth Reduce disparity in access to quality Basic Social Services is crucial and strategic for reducing child poverty, for economic development and social integration
Child Rights Policy analysis framework Breaking the poverty cycle Estimating and analyzing child poverty Poverty reduction starts with Children Making poverty reduction sustainable Disparity matters Ensuring resources and transparency Budget initiatives Legislative & institutional reform Policy issues and interventions
What can be done? Evidence and Analysis Estimate child poverty and deprivation Estimate child disparities by wealth, gender, regions, ethnic group se DHS & others Use DHS & others Analyze characteristics and causes of child poverty ualitative methods /participatory app. Qualitative methods /participatory app.
What can be done? Advocacy and Communication Child situation brief Regional / national state of children Partnership with universities / research centers
What can be done? Policy Use evidence, analysis, advocacy and partnerships to leverage policies and resources for childrens and womens rights Map, analyze and monitor policies
Conclusions Make child poverty visible Link the poverty situation of children with that of women and families. Analyse child poverty characteristics and underlying causes to provide orientation for policy and programme development. Measuring child poverty allows us to make inferences about policy issues
Conclusions It is possible to complement the deprivation measurement of child poverty with an income- based measurement and other approaches Disparity analysis on child wellbeing is an strategic component of child poverty analysis Not all human rights violations constitute poverty, but all human rights violations are related to poverty It is possible to influence the nature of policy dialogue
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