All children count, but not all are counted: calling for UN action

19 Sep, 2015

Success of the Sustainable Development Goals can only be judged when all vulnerable children are counted: On World Statistics Day, Family for Every Child is calling for the world’s most vulnerable children to not be left behind.

Family for Every Child are uniting with over 34 of the world’s leading organisations, calling on the UN to ensure all children growing up alone are included in the UN statistical map and counted for in the measurement of the impact of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Key to the success of the SDGs and their 169 targets, will be how they are monitored and measured in the next 15 years. The process for doing this is currently being debated. To ensure that the intention of ‘leaving no one behind’ is fulfilled, everyone must be included in the monitoring mechanisms, including those without parental care or at risk of losing it, those living in institutions or on the street; children who are trafficked or separated from their families as a result of conflict, disaster, or disability; or recruited into armed groups.

Except for scattered estimates from some specific countries, there are limited data about how many children live in such precarious circumstances,

Estimates suggest that there are millions of children growing up alone, but the real total is unknown. If these SDGs really are to transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable and in need, omitting these children would mean that many had been ‘left behind’.

In a joint open letter to the Inter-Agency Expert Group on the SDGs, Family for Every Child and fellow signatories such as Lumos, Better Care Network, Hope and Homes, Child Fund Alliance and World Childhood Foundation, appeal to the UN to ensure that children growing up without, or at risk of losing, parental care, are counted when the impact of the SDGs is being measured.

The letter concludes “the post-2015 global monitoring framework offers an opportunity to do more and better on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children – ensuring, first and foremost, that they are no longer invisible.”

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