Social Policy

Every child has a right to a childhood.

UNICEF/China/2016/Yang Jingjie


China is leading the world in poverty reduction. However, according to UNICEF China estimates, around eight million children still live below the official poverty line in 2017. 

These children experience multiple and overlapping deprivations that prevent their rights from being fully realized, stop them from developing to their full potential, and compromise their futures.  Children are more likely to be affected by poverty than adults.  They are also even more likely to be poor if they live in rural areas, live without their parents or reliable caregivers, belong to ethnic minority groups, or live with a disability.

The most disadvantaged children in China are not getting all the essential services they need to develop to their full potential. Unevenly distributed public investment, as well as complex laws and regulations, continue to limit their opportunities to get equitable access to education, health, and other essential services.


Poverty reduction starts with children.

UNICEF works with the Government of China and other partners to strengthen social protection for children and to position children at the centre of China's poverty reduction and development strategies.

UNICEF supports the Government of China to improve their investments in social protection programmes and social services that enable all children to develop to their full potential. 

At national level, UNICEF advocates for the government to prioritize children in policy and budget decisions, so that the rights of children are fulfilled, and their futures are guaranteed. 

At local level, UNICEF works with governments to improve their planning practices and monitoring systems.

UNICEF, together with the Government of China and other partners, use findings from joint research projects to make policies and legislation more equitable, sustainable and child-friendly.

More specifically, we are:

  • raising awareness and bettering understanding of how many, and in which ways, girls and boys living in different places in China experience poverty and deprivation
  • calling for national and subnational poverty reduction and development strategies that account for and address the realities of children's lives
  • supporting the development and reform of social protection ​systems and policies to address the multiple and overlapping ways children experience poverty
  • advocating for expanded, equitable and more efficient investment in inclusive and good quality services for children
  • and, supporting national and subnational authorities to prioritize children in the development and implementation of plans and social policies.


These resources on social policy represent just a small selection of materials produced by UNICEF and its partners in the last two years. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information.