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About Childhood and adolescence

The aims of the Social Development Division include contributing to the assessment and analysis of the social situation of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean, and its work focuses on specific groups in the various countries of the region, including children. It also conducts analyses of public policies aimed at improving the living standards of persons under the age of 18 and makes proposals to redress existing shortfalls in the fulfilment of children’s and adolescents’ rights.

Areas of interest      

Child poverty

Children living in poverty are deprived of the material, spiritual and emotional resources they need to survive, develop and thrive, which prevents them from fully enjoying their rights, achieving their potential or participating as full and equal members of society. Considered thus, child poverty cannot be analysed solely on the basis of household income, but must rather be addressed from a multidimensional, rights-based perspective. The Social Development Division’s work in this area focuses on gathering up-to-date information on child poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean and contributing to thinking on how to measure and analyse its impact for policymaking purposes.

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Social protection of children and adolescents

The social protection of children and adolescents contributes directly to safeguarding the exercise of their rights and generating responses to specific threats to these rights within a lifecycle-based perspective. Children face various types of risk, arising from weak care policies, insufficient resources or other barriers to access to social services that are essential for enjoyment of their rights, such as health care, adequate nutrition or education. Possible instruments for the social protection of this group include cash transfers, programmes to ensure access to basic services, including subsidies and, more generally, measures to help reduce their vulnerability and eradicate child poverty. The Social Development Division closely tracks policies for the social protection of children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean, analysing progress made and gaps remaining in this respect and helping countries to identify means to strengthen the exercise of citizenship from early childhood.

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