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Early childhood, inequalities and rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

22 December 2023|Newsletter Edition


A focus on early childhood is crucial for any inclusive social development strategy. Notwithstanding legislative and scientific progress and new child-oriented social agendas and policies, children aged between 0 and 8 continue to be disproportionately affected by poverty and vulnerability. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic exacerbated inequalities and has created urgent new needs in what was already a vulnerable context for a population that is at a developmentally critical stage of life. The consequences for the economy, care and education services, food insecurity, maternal mortality and immunization rates have had a direct impact on their well-being. Nearly four years on from the first case of COVID-19 in the region, it is vital to focus efforts on comprehensive early childhood development. This is an important and urgent agenda. Its importance lies in the fact that investment in this critical period of life is the best step that can be taken to prepare for a society’s future. The urgency derives from the risk that failure to act now may result in irreversible structural damage to the dynamics of intergenerational solidarity.

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