State of the World's Children

1564-975X (online)
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Each year, the United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEF’s) flagship publication, The State of the World's Children, closely examines a key issue affecting children. The report includes supporting data and statistics.

Also available in French, Spanish
The State of the World's Children 1995

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James P. Grant
31 Dec 1995
9789210597418 (PDF)

Hide / Show Abstract

Each year, UNICEF’s flagship publication, The State of the Worlds Children, closely examines a key issue affecting children. The report includes supporting data and statistics and is available in English, French and Spanish language versions.

Also available in Spanish, French
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  • World of difference

    Summary: The tragedy of Rwanda's children is the latest in what appears to be an increasingly frequent sequence of such disasters. More quietly, the economic marginalization of even larger number of families is also casting a long shadow over the future of nations by depriving millions of children of the right to develop normally in mind and body. The mutually relationship between these two forces-increasing economic exclusion and increasing social disintegration-is at the core of a new generation of threats to human security.

  • Promise and progress

    Summary: At the 1990 World Summit for Children, the international community agreed on a series of specific and measurable goals for the protection of the lives, the health, and the normal growth and development of children. The goals included a halving of child malnutrition, control of the major childhood diseases, the eradication of polio and dracunculiasis, the elimination of micronutrient deficiencies, a halving of maternal mortality, the achievement of primary school education by at least 80% of children, the provision of clean water and safe sanitation to all communities, and the universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was subsequently agreed that a set of intermediate goals should be achieved by the end of 1995.

  • Words into deeds

    Summary: Although specific interventions in such fields as health and nutrition face less resistance than the economic and political changes required to implement today's development consensus, the need now is to identify and build on strategies that work.

  • Pain now, gain later

    Summary: More fundamental change is necessary if today's development consensus is to be implemented. In particular, the problems of discrimination, landlessness and unemployment, must be addressed by land reform, investment in small farmers, the restructuring of government expenditures and aid programmes in favor of the poorest, reductions in military expenditures, and significant increases in the resources available for evironmentally sustainable development. But the way forward is obstructed by political and economic vested interests, and by the politically unattractive ‘pain now, gain later’ nature of many of the necessary policies.

  • Unfinished business of the 20th century

    Summary: The effort to achieve social development goals is part of a historic struggle to restructure societies in the interests of the many rather the few. Only in this century has that ideal begun to make significant practical headway. Combined with the continuing increase in worldwide productive capacity that began with the industrial revolution, this change in the underlying social ethic has made it possible to put the basic benefits of progress at the disposal of all. Completing this revolution is the unfinished business of the 20th century.

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