Born with a bright and positive start, facing a gloomy future: We must promote equity

UNICEF_SOWC_2016_Page_001‘An infant deprived of post-natal care may not survive her first days.

‘A child deprived of immunization or safe water may not live to see his fifth birthday, or
may live a life of diminished health.

‘A child deprived of adequate nutrition may never reach his full physical or cognitive potential, limiting his ability to learn and earn.

‘A child deprived of quality education may never gain the skills she needs to succeed someday in the workplace or send her own children to school.

‘And a child deprived of protection – from conflict, violence or abuse, from exploitation
and discrimination, from child labour, or early marriage and motherhood – may be
physically and emotionally scarred for life, with profound consequences.

‘A right to a healthy start in life, an education and a safe, secure childhood – all the basic opportunities that translate into a productive and prosperous adulthood is what Every child is born with and at the same time denied. The State of the World’s Children 2016 report argues, promoting equity is more than a moral obligation. It is both a practical and a strategic imperative, helping to break inter-generational cycles of disadvantage and thus reducing the inequalities that undermine all societies.

‘Conflict has immediate and often life-threatening effects on children. It also holds back the development of the education systems that should be functioning to help them reach their full potential.

‘The report’s call to action is, therefore, motivated by a sense of urgency and the conviction that a different outcome, and a better world, are possible. Children born into poverty and deprivation are not doomed to live lives of despair. Inequity is not inevitable, if governments invest in expanding opportunity for every child– shifting policies, programming and public spending priorities so the most disadvantaged have a chance to catch up with the most advantaged.

Access the full report from the UNICEF website here:The State of the World’s Children 2016: A fair chance for every child

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