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The State of the World's Children 2012

Children in an Urban World

image of The State of the World's Children 2012

While cities have long been associated with employment, development and economic growth, hundreds of millions of children in the world’s urban areas are growing up amid scarcity and deprivation. This publication presents the hardships these children face as violations of their rights, as well as impediments to fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals. It examines major phenomena shaping the lives of children in urban settings, including migration, economic shocks and acute disaster risk. It also provides examples of efforts to improve the urban realities that children confront and identifies broad policy actions that should be included in any strategy to reach excluded children and foster equity in urban settings driven by disparity.

English Spanish, French

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Action: Putting children first in an urban world

The experience of childhood is increasingly urban. Over half the world’s people – including more than a billion children – now live in cities and towns. Many children enjoy the advantages of urban life, including access to educational, medical and recreational facilities. Too many, however, are denied such essentials as electricity, clean water and health care – even though they may live close to these services. Too many are forced into dangerous and exploitative work instead of being able to attend school. And too many face a constant threat of eviction, even though they live under the most challenging conditions – in ramshackle dwellings and overcrowded settlements that are acutely vulnerable to disease and disaster.

English Spanish, French

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