Poverty has been defined and measured in many different ways. For the purpose of our studies child poverty is understood both as income poverty, when a child lives in a household with consumption expenditure below a minimum level, and also as different kinds of deprivation measured in non-monetary terms, such as not attending school, poor nutrition status, no access to immunization, or living in overcrowded housing.
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UNICEF uses the term ‘child protection’ to refer to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children, including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage. Violations of the child’s right to protection take place in every country and are massive, under-recognized and under-reported barriers to child survival and development, in addition to being human rights violations. Children subjected to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect are at risk of death, poor physical and mental health, HIV/AIDS infection, educational problems, displacement, homelessness, vagrancy and poor parenting skills later in life. UNICEF IRC contributes with its studies to analyze the situation and to influence policy makers, institutions and other duty bearers to take appropriate actions for a significant change in the lives of the children of the world.
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Conflict and Displacement
UNICEF's Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies provide the framework for action in protecting children during emergencies and transition. Such action includes commitments to assess, monitor and report on severe or systematic abuse, violence and exploitation; to assist in the prevention of separation and identification and reunification and care of separated and other vulnerable children; to prevent the recruitment and use of children, negotiate release of those recruited and facilitate their reintegration; to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation of children and women, and provide post rape care; and to support the establishment of safe environments for children and integrate psychosocial support in responses.
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The general principles and articles of the Convention insist on primary education for all, characterized by non-discrimination and the pursuit of the best interests of the child. Based on almost universal ratification of the Convention and the resulting consensus that every child, regardless of resources and circumstances, has the right to a basic education of high quality, UNICEF is now working to ensure that the education programmes it supports are developed from a rights perspective.
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The Centre, particularly through research on CEE/CIS has analysed household responses to economic shocks and economic transition, including issues such as changing fertility and marriage responses, institutionalising children, and an initial exploration of how the situation of children affected by migration could be assessed and adverse impact mitigated.
IRC research has shown that a number of countries in SEE have seen one-third of their adult populations migrate out of their country of origin on a permanent or temporary basis . For some East Asian countries many thousands of mothers seek overseas temporary employment to mitigate the household poverty situation at home. Specific data on children remains a challenge, including to assess the impact of migration trends on the enjoyment of their rights.
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