UNICEF’s work to address deprivations, of all dimensions, for every child
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
BEIJING, 17 October 2022 – Working with partners, UNICEF is addressing multidimensional child deprivations in China and beyond to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The data in this video is sourced from this report https://www.unicef.cn/en/reports/child-multidimensional-poverty-china
What does ‘multidimensional child deprivations’ mean?
Poverty is often thought of in terms of money, bringing to mind families and individuals who don’t have enough income to survive and thrive. But poverty is not just about families’ income; people, including children, can face multiple deprivations. Children can experience deprivations in health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, housing, information, social protection, and more. This is referred to as ‘multidimensional child deprivations’, which is an essential addition to the measurement of poverty, providing a more comprehensive picture of children’s well-being.
What have we learned about ‘multidimensional child deprivations’?
Addressing ‘multidimensional child deprivations’ is urgent for both developed and developing countries. The climate crisis, increased conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly affected the well-being of children and their families. For the first time in decades, we are seeing children being increasingly deprived in various dimensions. Even before the pandemic, around 1 billion children worldwide, and half of all children in developing countries, were severely deprived in at least one dimension, without minimum levels of access to education, health, housing, nutrition, sanitation or water.
According to a UNICEF-commissioned study, around one in five children in China experienced multiple deprivations in 2018. Different groups of children experience deprivations in different ways. The study shows that in 2018, an estimated 37.7 per cent of rural children were multidimensionally deprived, compared to 7.6 per cent of urban children and 8.8 per cent of migrant children. Also in 2018, rural girls on average experienced deprivations in more dimensions than rural boys, and compared to rural children aged 6-14 years, older rural children (15-17 years old) were more likely to be multidimensionally deprived.
These findings show the unequal experiences of deprivations, and highlight the challenges are more serious in rural areas. They also refute the stereotype that multidimensional deprivations are solely a rural phenomenon. The figures show not only that children shouldn’t be overlooked in the development agenda, but also that children’s development progress should be monitored considering the multidimensional nature of deprivations.
What is UNICEF doing in China in response to multidimensional child deprivations?
To promote the well-being of every child, UNICEF continues to address multidimensional child deprivations:
- Supporting governments to monitor and understand multidimensional child deprivations through evidence-based research. Monitoring of child multidimensional deprivations should include both monetary and multidimensional indicators, to capture the actual deprivations that children face, so that policies and resource allocation can be more responsive to girl’s and boy’s needs.
- Engaging in policy dialogue to prioritize children’s needs in national policies and tailor targeted measures for the most vulnerable children to meet their developmental needs. The goal is that the disposable income of families will be increased, and at the same time, children’s multidimensional needs including health, education, water and sanitation, and protection will be met in an integrated way.
- Building partnerships with line ministries, think tanks and renowned international and domestic experts, with the goal of reaching consensus on strategies and approaches to monitor and address multidimensional deprivations for children.
- Globally, UNICEF has been working to end multidimensional child deprivations in many countries. UNICEF also supports knowledge and experience sharing between countries.