By David Stewart and Richard Morgan, Co-chairs of the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty
A world in which no child grows up in poverty and every child can fulfil their potential would be a different world indeed. This is why the Global Coalition sees ending child poverty as a defining challenge of human progress.
While there have been many positive changes in recent decades, the challenges for children remain great: children are significantly more likely to live in poverty than adults, and the impact of poverty on children can be devastating and lifelong, with implications for future generations and society as a whole. Furthermore, children face these challenges globally, in richer and poorer countries alike.
Crucially, although perhaps less recognized, there are specific, effective solutions to address child poverty. These range from direct cash transfers and benefits that reach families with children living in poverty, to ensuring real access to quality services for all, to addressing the stigma and discrimination that can block children’s hope and potential, not least – and perhaps most cruelly – in their own minds.
Despite this, in many countries child poverty is not explicitly targeted as a national priority, and it is often not routinely measured or reported on. Today, the Global Coalition launches “A world free from child poverty: a guide to the tasks to achieve the vision”. The Guide aims to bring together knowledge and experience from around the world, and provide practical steps, tools and experience that can help move things forward.
The Guide suggests – and is organized by – an indicative set of Milestones to address child poverty. It is important to stress that in reality countries start from different places and will follow different – and often non-linear – paths. Hopefully this approach is makes the Guide clear and easy to use.
The indicative Milestones are:
Milestone 1: Building a national pathway to end child poverty
Milestone 2: Measuring child poverty
Milestone 3: Putting child poverty on the map: child poverty advocacy
Milestone 4: Reducing child poverty through policy and programme change
Milestone 5: Achieving the SDGs: ending extreme child poverty and halving it by national definitions
As much as this Guide hopes to contribute to policy change, it is important to stress what it cannot achieve. When you hear from children themselves about the positive differences that have been made in their lives, or from adults that experienced poverty as children, it may not be government policies and programmes that come to mind, but rather a story of determined individuals and grassroots organizations that have listened, responded and made a pivotal difference.
We hope this Guide makes a positive contribution towards the fight to end child poverty, leads to it being prioritized across societies, and supports the tremendous efforts of all those around the world - – including children and young people – who are making the difference.
Access the publication: 'A World Free from Child Poverty: A Guide to the tasks to Achieve the Vision'.
Download the publication here.