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Updated On: Tuesday, 18 September 2018

An Unequal Rise in Wellbeing for Children in SE Asia

Report by: UNICEF

Good news and bad news for children and policymakers in South-East Asia, according to a new report by the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, this week.

The good news is that the health and wellbeing of children in South Asia has seen a sharp rise over the last 25 years. The bad news, however, is that not every child has seen the same improvements. The glaring inequalities in wellbeing between children in South Asia stood at the center of a new UNICEF report : “Improving Children's Lives, Transforming the Future.”

The report, published on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, outlines the great successes and the remaining challenges for children in the region, of whom 35 percent are currently living with chronic malnutrition. Other problems in the region that are outlined by the report are the high levels of maternal death in childbirth, child marriage and femicide.


Read the report's key findings below, then click here to read the full report.

Key Findings:

  • Approximately 8 million children below the age of one are not immunized
  • More than 45 percent of girls marry before the age of 18, and 18 percent marry before age 15
  • South Asia is home to the largest number of stunted children in the world
  • Nearly 700 million people still defecate in the open
  • Approximately 100 million children under five are not registered at birth
  • Across South Asia, 1/3 of students enrolled in the first grade will leave school before reaching the last grade.1
  • In Pakistan, a baby dies about every three minutes.
  • Across South Asia, women make up less than 5% of the police and less than 10% of judges.
  • Over 12% of children in South Asia aged 5-14 are engaged in child labour. In some parts of the region, the levels are much higher.2
  • India had close to seven million fewer girls than boys aged 0-6 in 2011


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