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All children count but not all are counted

All children count but not all are counted

IFCO joins world's NGOs to urge UN to ensure that the most vulnerable children to be not left behind by global development. In a joint letter to UN statistical bodies - reissued after it was first sent last year - more than 175 international children’s organisations and experts such as Better Care Network, Eurochild, Lumos, Hope and Homes, International Social Services and SOS Children's Villages are calling for the “children living outside of households and/or without parental care” to be included in the UN statistical map and to ensure that the framework that will monitor the implementation of the SDGs captures them. They urge UN to count all children in for the measurement of the impact of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through improving and expanding data collection methodologies.

The letter to UN states: “All children count, but not all children are counted. As a result, some of the world’s most vulnerable children – those without parental care or at risk of being so; in institutions or on the street; trafficked; separated from their families as a result of conflict or disaster; or recruited into armed groups – have largely fallen off the UN’s statistical map. There are only limited data about how many children live in such precarious circumstances, except for scattered estimates from some specific countries.” It calls on the UN to “ensure that children living outside of households and/or without parental care are represented in disaggregated data” and to “improve and expand data collection methodologies to ensure all children are represented.”

Quality data needs to be developed and used to monitor SDG progress on poverty, inequality and social justice among vulnerable and largely forgotten children. There is a need for collective efforts to strengthen statistical capacity at the national and international levels to ensure that official data portrays the genuine reality of these children.

The letter concludes: “The post-2015 global monitoring framework offers an opportunity to do more and better on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children – ensuring, first and foremost, that they are no longer invisible.”

The SDGs which were adopted by the United Nations last September, will guide spending of billions of dollars in international assistance over the next 15 years. The goals have been set, with an accompanying global monitoring framework to measure progress and success. The SDG Global Indicator Framework was agreed by the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) at its 47th session in New York on 11 March. However, there is yet to be seen a concrete change to the system and methodologies that will ensure that the SDGs will benefit all children.