Rich countries let poorest children fall behind
Dec 2, 2010
Canadian children suffer greater income inequality than most developed nations, says a new UNICEF report being released Friday.
The report, which for the first time ranks 24 countries in the Organization for Economic and Co-operative Development (OECD) in terms of equality in children’s health, education and material well-being, shows children in many rich nations are being left behind.
“Falling behind is a critical issue not only for millions of individual children today, but for the economic and social future of their nations tomorrow,” the report argues.
The report, entitled, “The Children Left Behind,” looked at inequality in child well-being by measuring the gap between the average child and the most disadvantaged children in three aspects of their lives — material well-being, educational achievement and physical health….
The UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 9: The Children Left Behind,
Examining inequalities in child well-being in the world’s rich countires
Whether in health, in education, or in material well-being, some children will always fall behind the average. The critical question is: How far behind? Is there a point beyond which falling behind is not inevitable, but policy susceptible – and unacceptable?….
What Canada should do
The fact that some countries are able to limit inequality shows that it is possible, without sacrificing individual and economic performance…..
There are some practical and affordable steps Canada can take now that would make a real and lasting difference for children….
5. Set a national strategy to eliminate child poverty in the context of a national poverty reduction strategy – linked to health, education, child care, economic goals and other policy areas. This includes the need to set a family income level sufficient for good child development outcomes, and recalibrate family benefits and taxation to improve equity.