Innocenti Social Monitor 2009. Child Well-being at a Crossroads: Evolving challenges in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States
The evolving and diverging challenges for the well-being of children after two decades of transition are examined. Following a long period of sustained 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 uses information from administrative and survey sources, some of it not previously available, to identify critical economic and social trends and assess the impact of policies on children in the period immediately preceding the current crisis. It also looks at changes in the economic and demographic context in which children are growing up as well as at trends of public social expenditure, all influencing policy choices that affect children. While acknowledging the important improvements in living standards which growth brought to children in the region, the report highlights persistent disparities in the distribution of benefits and in particular the vulnerability of children to the process of change. This has been partly due to the difficulties of policy to reach population groups most at risk and to provide adequate support to reduce inequalities and exclusion. 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.
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