Latest Data Reveals 1.4 Billion Children Worldwide Lack Basic Social Protection

Posted on 23 February 2024

New data released by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Save the Children, and UNICEF reveals that globally, 1.4 billion children aged 0-15 lack any form of social protection, leaving them vulnerable to disease, poor nutrition, and poverty. Particularly alarming is the disparity between low-income and high-income countries, where less than one in ten children in low-income countries have access to child benefits, highlighting significant gaps in coverage.
Natalia Winder Rossi, Director of Social Policy and Social Protection at UNICEF, stresses the urgency of addressing child poverty, with 333 million children worldwide living in extreme poverty and nearly 1 billion experiencing multidimensional poverty. Rossi also highlights that ending child poverty is a policy choice and calls for expanding social protection coverage, including the progressive realization of universal child benefits.

The three agencies advocate for policymakers and donors to take decisive steps to achieve universal social protection for all children by: building social protection systems that are rights-based, gender-responsive, inclusive, and shock-responsive; closing protection gaps, which require filling the 'financing gap'; providing a comprehensive range of child benefits through national social protection systems; securing sustainable financing for social protection systems; and strengthening social protection for parents and caregivers by guaranteeing access to decent work and adequate benefits.
Photo: ChildFund Vietnam, Cao Bang, Vietnam 
Students attend a district-wide ceremony as they perform and watch their fellow students.


children save the children social protection