Little progress to show for poor children as world marks Children Day

Beira, Mozambique – August 26: Orphanage St. Egidius: Group of children in an orphanage for AIDS patients on August 26, 2018 in Beira, Mozambique. (Photo by Ute Grabowsky/Photothek via Getty Images)

On a day when the world celebrates Children Day, there have been historic gains overall for the children since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted 30 years ago.

However, many of the poorest children are yet to feel the impact, according to The Convention on the Rights of the Child at a Crossroads, a new report released today in Nairobi, Kenya.

Hope Asumbo(blue shirt), 14 years old from Nairobi County was the overall winner for writing an essay on creating safe spaces for children in Dandora, away from the dumpsite.PHOTO/UNICEF

“There have been impressive gains for children over the past three decades, as more and more are living longer, better and healthier lives,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.

The report also notes that progress has not been equal in low and middle-income countries children from the poorest households are twice as likely to die from preventable causes before their fifth birthday as children from the richest households.

According to recently available data, only half of children from the poorest households in sub-Saharan Africa are vaccinated against measles, compared to 85 percent of children from the richest households.


According to the Kenyan Demographic and Health Survey 2014, a child born in one county was more than five times as likely to die before their fifth birthday.

UNICEF is now calling for a renewed focus on ensuring the full range of child rights in Kenya. Additional focus has been put on the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and speedy enactment of the children’s bill.

“This is a critical point in time for the CRC, which stands between its past successes and its future promise,” UNICEF Representative in Kenya Maniza Zaman said.