ECLAC and UNICEF encourage more work to combat child poverty in Latin America

by Ray Clancy on February 15, 2012

ECLAC and UNICEF have a new guide to encourage improvements in child poverty

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNICEF-TACRO) have a new guide to encourage improvements in child poverty.

‘It is very important to have reliable and regular measurements of child poverty in order to design and implement public policies to overcome it,’ said Alicia Barcena, ECLAC executive secretary.

‘We hope that the guide will be of use to national statistics offices in the countries of the region, academic institutions, specialists and members of civil society interested in monitoring the situation of child poverty and helping to promote policies which ensure that the rights set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child are respected,’ she added.

It explains in detail the changes made to the methodology for measuring child poverty developed in 2003 by UNICEF, the University of Bristol and the London School of Economics.

ECLAC and UNICEF-TACRO considered it necessary to adapt this methodology, known as ‘Bristol Indicators’ for a direct, multidimensional measurement of child poverty with a human rights approach in the countries of Latin America and to complement these results with the measurement of absolute poverty according to household income where the children and adolescents live.

The guide, which can be used individually or as supporting material for courses and face to face workshops, is implemented through different modules. They teach how to measure child poverty according to different deprivations, calculate indices, analyse disparities, carry out simulations and present information by territories with maps generated by a free computer programme.

The material includes exercises and real and fictitious examples, training videos and a complete bibliography which can be accessed in full online.

This multimedia resource, which will be distributed to statistics offices in the region and organizations responsible for child policies, seeks to make governments, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and experts aware of the importance of measuring child poverty with the information sources available in the countries of Latin America.

According to a study produced by ECLAC and UNICEF in 2010 almost 45% of the population under the age of 18 years is living in poverty in the region. This report states that almost 81 million children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer deprivations because they are unable to exercise some of their rights.

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