Report on the Conference on Inclusion

Adolescence and Youth, Early Childhood, Featured, Monitoring and Evaluation

Addressing Inclusion Among Children & Adolescents Living in Poverty

Conclusions and recommendations for child advocates

1. Recent estimates show that there has been a large reduction in extreme poverty over last quarter century. However, the reduction has slowed recently, due to changes in the regional composition of the poor. These trends pose a challenge in achieving the SDGs.1

2. Despite significant steps by the international community to lift people out of poverty, inequality and exclusion persist. Large disparities remain regarding access to health, education and other basic services.2 Inequality is a multidimensional concept, involving economics (incomes), politics (voice and decision making) and social (access to social opportunities) and cultural factors.

3. In many ways, the questions “Is it possible for a child born in a poor urban or rural family to climb on the socio-economic ladder independently of the circumstances where he/she was born?” is answered by saying that the phenomenon of intergenerational persistence of poverty is a huge challenge that must be addressed through public policy.

4. Despite the SDGs and their intentional declaration of inclusivity, many children remain left behind. Many remain uncounted in household surveys which complicates how evidence for policy-making is gathered. The household surveys are also being used to measure the SDGs’ achievements. Statistical experts and child advocates must find the way to include “invisible children” in their measurements.

5. There are many situations in which children and adolescents are exposed to violence. Even though violence is a complex issue of human nature, it must not be accepted or normalized and should be addressed by governments, civil organizations and human rights advocates.

6. In order to end the juvenile justice system’s vicious cycle of violence linked with deprivation of dignity, experts recommend:

a. Preventing children from becoming involved with the juvenile justice system
b. Protecting children from all forms of violence within the juvenile justice system
c. Ensuring the use of diversion and alternative non-custodial measures as priorities within the juvenile justice system
d. Ensuring that the deprivation of liberty is a measure of last resort
e. Ensuring that, when deprivation of liberty is absolutely necessary, conditions of detention and the treatment of children respect the dignity and special needs of the child, and minimize the risk of violence.3

7. To end violence against children in and around schools, child advocates urge action to:

a. Implement laws and policies that protect students from violence
b. Strengthen safety measures in schools
c. Encourage students and communities to challenge surrounding cultures of violence
d. Raise and invest resources to implement violence reduction efforts
e. Generate and share evidence about what works to reduce violence.4
8. Children and adolescents can be the motor for change and should be involved in programs that promote inclusion and violence prevention. Schools can be an entry point to address violence against children and adolescents and to change their situations, not only at school but also in their homes and communities.

 

Download the full report here

 

1 “Data for Development Impact – Making National Household Surveys More Inclusive”; Tara Vishawanath, World Bank
2 “Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries”, www.un.org
3 “Prevention of and responses to violence against children within the juvenile justice system”, Office of The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, 2012; www.violenceagainstchildren.un.org
4 “An Everyday Lesson: #ENDviolence in Schools”, UNICEF, September 2018; www.unicef.org

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