With each global initiative launched to improve children’s lives, it becomes clearer that the promotion of equality and reduction of disparities among children hold a key to the success of these efforts. Ensuring equality is essential in waging the global campaign to fulfil children’s rights, reduce poverty and meet the human development goals established at the Millennium Summit at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children.
At the Special Session on Children, in May 2002, world leaders reaffirmed their “obligation to take action to promote and protect the rights of each child”. In their Declaration, ‘A World Fit for Children’, they committed themselves “to create a world fit for children in which sustainable human development, taking into account the best interest of the child, is founded on principles of democracy, equality, non-discrimination, peace and social justice and the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights, including the right to development.” Guided by the Millennium Development Goals, the leaders adopted a specific set of goals aimed at ensuring every child’s right to health, education, equality and protection.
This publication examines trends in inequality during the 1990s and how they affected children’s well-being, and draws lessons for future action.
First, the publication briefly considers the relationship between inequality and poverty – two interrelated but distinct issues – and their linkages with efforts to fulfil human rights. It then turns to important lessons learned from a recent study of global efforts during the 1990s to meet the goals for children established at the 1990 World Summit for Children.