The Innocenti Social Monitor 2009 : Child well-being at a crossroad. Evolving challenges in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States
The Innocenti Social Monitor 2009 examines the evolving and diverging challenges for the well-being of children after two decades of transition. Following a long period of economic growth and gradual improvements in living standards, the global economic crisis is now threatening to reverse some of the recent positive achievements and plunge households and children into another phase of uncertainty.
The Innocenti Social Monitor 2009 : Child well-being at a crossroad. Evolving challenges in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States uses available data to capture and monitor the situation of children in the period of growth, but also to look at changes in the context in which children are growing up. The character of economic growth, widening inequalities, striking demographic trends, as well as public expenditure levels and structures, all influence policy choices which affect children.
This Innocenti Social Monitor provides a timely reminder of the need to continue monitoring the effects of policy decisions and external shocks on the situation of children in the region. The crisis comes at a time when key social policy reforms, which could have positive effects on child outcomes, are incomplete in many countries. Monitoring needs to be strengthened in order to highlight the importance of child-sensitive policies at a time when policy attention may be diverted from social sector reforms, or when the priority given to the latter is lowered. As in the early 1990s there is a risk that not enough attention is paid to the effects of economic turmoil on the lives and development of children. In these tumultuous times the need for monitoring is greater than ever.
Providing a comprehensive overview of the decade up to 2008 and discussing monitoring and data challenges for the region, the report aims to help support and guide policy debate and decisions in a period of economic crisis. It is hoped to encourage policy makers to have a greater focus on child well-being, guided by human rights principles, to support those children most in need, to promote social inclusion and to give all children the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
The Innocenti Social Monitor 2009 : Child well-being at a crossroad. Evolving challenges in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States may be downloaded on the UNICEF Innocenti web site.