In 2017, children are still being left behind.
Despite of the multiple promises set out during the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Plans in 2015, much more work needs to be done on how the international communities and the individual governments tackle the issue of children being left out of global agendas.
Children that do not live with their family are rarely included in statistics, thus re-confirming their marginalization in society. It is argued that an improved, more inclusive system of identification and monitoring will not only provide better statistical data, but will also facilitate the implementation of programmes and support services destined to the most vulnerable, as data sets provide a good indication of where help is most needed. At present, most projects launched by the international community often rely on estimates, thus heightening the risk of leaving behind all the invisible children, which are invisible precisely because of inefficient methods of data collection.
At the meeting at the UN for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, recommendations on how to improve the collection of data are being delivered to governments within the programme Children Count: Closing the Data Gap. Experts are working together to improve data collection methodologies in order to facilitate governments’ work on the protection of children, and are finding solutions on how to include children in the decision-making process.
Counting children cannot necessarily be equated with the improvement of their lives, but an inclusive, good set of data enables international communities and government to reach a wider number of children within the framework of humanitarian efforts.