Oct 18, 2006

This is a study of child poverty in a fast-changing region. Since 1998 almost all countries of the South-Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States region have shown signs of economic recovery. The numbers of people living in income poverty has fallen, living standards have generally improved and opportunities for many children in the region have expanded. This signals a turning point in the dramatic decline in social and economic conditions experienced by most children in the region in the early 1990s. Yet there is a serious risk that a part of the new generations of children born since the start of the transition is being left behind. The study shows that not all children are benefiting from the economic growth and that Governments in the region need to give higher policy priority to tackling disadvantage and deprivation endured by children. Pursuing a child rights perspective, the study set outs to measure and understand better the nature and scale of child poverty, as distinct from adult poverty; it highlights the large disparities in child well-being which have emerged in this period of economic expansion, between countries, between regions within countries, and between families; it points to ways in which governments in the region could more effectively address marginalisation and disparities among children. The Innocenti Social Monitor 2006 provides practical examples of ways in which children can be given distinct attention and visibility in the analysis of poverty and in policy priorities, while also stressing that data collection has to be improved and made more accessible in order to allow the impact of policies on children to be effectively assessed and addressed.