One in three children under-five does not officially exist. In numbers: The births of nearly 230 million children under-five have never been registered; approximately one in three of all children under-five of the world. In Zambia, one of the countries where the Roger Federer Foundation works, only 14% of the under-five are registered.
Children unregistered at birth or without identification documents are often excluded from accessing education, health care and social security. If children are separated from their families during natural disasters, conflicts or as a result of exploitation, reuniting them is made more difficult by the lack of official documentation. Unregistered births are a symptom of the inequities and disparities in a society. Children most affected by these inequities include children from certain ethnic or religious groups, children living in rural or remote areas, from poor households or of uneducated mothers.
The latest UNICEF report highligths the importance of data in making progress for children and exposing the unequal access to services and protection that marks the lives of so many.
Being counted makes children visible and this act of recognition makes it possible to address their needs and advance their rights. Data do not, of themselves, change the world. They make change possible by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, and gauging progress. What matters most is that decision-makers use the data to make positive change and that the data are available for children and communities to use in holding duty-beares to account.
Now is the time to invest for the future. You want to know how and why? Read the Education for All (EFA) monitoring report 2012 which gives evidence that funds spent on education generate ten to fifteen times as much in economic growth over a person’s lifetime.
There has been undeniable progress towards the six EFA goals – including an expansion of early childhood care and education and improvements in gender parity at primary level. However it is still a long way to go the reach the six EFA goals, which would garantee this economic growth also for the futur adults in the third.
Though the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is applicable with regard to all the persons under the age of 18, the information on the implementation of the Convention with respect to children before the age of regular schooling is very limited.
The suggested monograph has been published already in 2007, but it is still worth reading - especially for general readers interested in child rights, human rights and the UN - as the numerous documents and papers outlining expert opinion on the meaning of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child with special emphasis on the rights of young children are still valid.
In 2015 the current commitments under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Education for All (EFA) movement expire. Therefore this will also be the year to position early childhood development (ECD) as one of the priority issues on the post-2015 development agenda.
The Consultative Group on early childhood care and development examines in the present paper the opportunities for positioning ECD on the post-2015 development agenda. Such opportunities will have to demonstrate that effective ECD can contribute to progress. Until now, ECD is not one of the issues under current consideration for inclusion in the post-2015 development framework, despite the fact that ECD is in fact relevant to the achievement of many of the priority outcomes that will feature on the post-2015 agenda – poverty reduction, primary education, child survival, nutrition.