Social protection and children in developing countries
Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in almost any population because of their physical and emotional dependence on adults and social status. Their vulnerability is greater in developing countries because of the higher incidence of poverty and fewer social protection mechanisms in place compared to industrialized countries. In most developing countries, children are not the explicit recipients of the unprecedented growth in social protection efforts but do benefit from its expansion. This paper looks at how social protection is evolving in developing countries and how it relates to the vulnerabilities of children. It goes on to present the different conceptual models for protection and how they have changed and been influenced by the changing definition of poverty and the growth in transnational knowledge and policymaking. The paper then considers cash transfer programs that have been introduced and their effects on child well being. It ends with a discussion of the need to focus on system-wide social protection strategies to address children's vulnerabilities and future directions needed.
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