The 1990 World Summit for Children brought together 71 Heads of State and Government to discuss ways in which to improve the lives of the world's children. The international ‘Plan of Action’ adopted at the summit recognised the importance of grass roots initiatives at the local level.
The high primary school enrolment rates in Latin America and the Caribbean mask poor performance in terms of the quality, relevance and cost-effectiveness of formal schooling in the region. What happens to the millions of children who repeat school years, underperform in their first years of schooling and eventually drop out? The vast majority are working children of one sort or another, but their work is likely to lead nowhere in terms of expanded opportunities or eventually to a decent standard of living for them and their future families.
After the collapse of the communist system in 1989, most Eastern European countries experienced a mortality and health crisis. However, this did not hit the traditionally most vulnerable groups - children, adolescents, women and the elderly - but male adults in the 20-59 age group.
Following the Second World War and particularly after the 1960s, many Western European countries experienced positive immigration. Migrations to each specific country differed in origin and were influenced by the historical ties between the sending and receiving countries, particularly in the case of migrations from ex-colonies. However, international economic conditions and political situations also caused similar migration trends across countries, in particular the "contract work" migrations of the 1960s and the new waves of immigrants from developing countries of the 1970s and 1980s.