From Eldis:

An overview of progress made in attaining the millennium development goals with regard to children

Title:Progress for children: a world fit for children statistical review

Publisher: United Nations [UN] Children’s Fund , 2007

This paper provides an overview on progress made in attaining the millennium development goals (MDGs) with regard to children.

On the way towards the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1), underweight prevalence has declined even if low weight or height for children aged under 5 remains common in many developing regions.

With regard to MDG 2, universal enrollment in primary schools has been successfully promoted and more than 85 per cent of primary-school-age children attend school. However, the provision of secondary education lags behind.

There is some success regarding the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women (MDG 3) as the gender gap in primary education has closed in many regions. However, gender disparities remain important in poor and rural households and fewer countries are near parity with regard to secondary education.

Progress towards the reduction of under-five mortality by two thirds (MDG 4) is insufficient in Sub-Saharan Africa, but many countries throughout the world are on track to reach the target. Special emphasis must be placed on antenatal and postnatal care, obstetric care and care for newborns.

All developing regions have increased the coverage of skilled delivery attendance and antenatal care and thereby improved maternal health (MDG 5).

Regarding MDG 6, halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and diseases such as Malaria, indicators are discouraging: only nine countries in the developing world have HIV knowledge levels of 50 per cent or more and only about 1 in 10 HIV-infected pregnant women in low- and middle income countries receives antiretroviral prophylaxis. However, condom use and access to antiretroviral treatment for children are increasing and several African countries have made progress in meeting the education needs of children orphaned by AIDS. Sub-Saharan countries have also made rapid progress in scaling up the use of insecticide-treated nets and safer drugs against Malaria.

Many regions are on the right track to halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water (MDG 7).

Finally, the paper takes a look at progress or the lack thereof regarding birth registration, child labour, female genital mutilation, child marriage, child discipline, domestic violence, violent conflict, care for children with disabilities and the signing of child-rights related conventions and protocols.