New Indonesia report highlights critical role of ending child poverty and violence to achieving sustainable development
NEW YORK/JAKARTA, 18 July 2017 –The Government of Indonesia and UNICEF today launched a new report showcasing the progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals that the country has made for children, acknowledging challenges and highlighting the crucial role of preventing violence against children in reducing poverty.
The report was launched as world leaders met at the High Level Political Forum in New York at a side-event hosted by the Governments of Indonesia, Sweden, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children and UNICEF.
The report, the first of its kind for Indonesia, uses government data to set a baseline for monitoring progress on key sustainable development goals and targets for Indonesia’s 84 million children.
According to the report, 57 per cent of children in Indonesia grow up in families living on less than twice the national poverty line, showing the high degree of vulnerability and income insecurity of families with children. To address this, Indonesia is now one of the world’s largest single payer of health care.
“As the world’s fourth largest country, we are committed to reduce child poverty and end all forms of violence against children. Our policies start with the poorest and most vulnerable children. In 2018, several districts will introduce universal child grants for young children, a new approach to provide social protection for children,” said Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro.
“How children are faring – in terms of their health, nutrition, protection, education, welfare, and the environment in which they grow up – is a direct predictor of what Indonesia’s future will look like,” said Gunilla Olsson, UNICEF Representative in Indonesia.
“Investing in all children and young people is central to achieving sustainable development, and monitoring progress for children is crucial in determining which investments to make. We congratulate the government of Indonesia for its leadership on these issues,” she added.
High profile speakers, including UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, highlighted the need to increase comprehensive investments in children as a pre-condition for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The leaders shared experiences as pioneering countries to end violence against children, and highlighted Sweden’s long history of providing universal child grants and its results in reducing child poverty. Chile shared its efforts and challenges in establishing a comprehensive protection system for its children.
“Reducing child poverty, ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls, and ending violence against children are crucial pre-conditions for sustainable progress. We want to emphasize that a focus on children’s rights is one of the most effective ways to eradicate poverty and improve living conditions for all,” said Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister of Public Administration Sweden.
The SRSG Marta Santos Pais said, “The SDGs calls for a world which invests in children and in which every child grows up free from want, from fear and from violence. This is an ambitious goal and we must act with a deep sense of urgency,” she said.
“Where poverty and disadvantage are pervasive, the risk of violence becomes particularly acute, leaving long lasting scars in children’s lives, weakening the foundation of social progress, slowing economic development and eroding nations’ human and social capital.”
Notes for editors:
According to the new report, Indonesia has made great strides in addressing poverty, child mortality, violence against children and primary school enrolment rates but challenges remain.
Children are more likely to be poor than adults, with 13 per cent of children compared to 11 per cent of the total population living below the national poverty line of around IDR 13,000/US$ 1 per day. All but one province has achieved universal or near universal access to primary education with some 96 per cent of six-year-old children participating in organised learning. Yet, only 50 per cent of primary school students reached minimum national benchmarks in reading and less 25 per cent in mathematics. Enrolment rates drop substantially among older age groups with just 57 per cent of adolescents aged 16 to 18 years attending senior secondary or higher education.
Around 73 per cent of children under 5 years of age now have a birth certificate thanks to Indonesia’s efforts to ensure birth registration for all children. But protection of girls from child marriage and violence remains a significant challenge; 12 per cent of women aged 20-24 married or in union before the age of 18 and one in four women and girls aged 15-64 years have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner.
The findings of the report will provide a basis for reviewing and focusing Indonesia’s national development plans and policies to fast-track achievement of the SDGs through strategic investments in Indonesia’s children.
Its release complements Indonesia’s voluntary review at the United Nations General Assembly this week where it presented its efforts to support the 2030 Agenda and localise the global indicators in national planning.
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