Rapid global urbanization is taking a toll on millions of children worldwide, a recent UNICEF report asserts. The study, “The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World,” has caused the UN agency to put pressure on governments to keep children in mind in the midst of urban planning. Children are particularly effected by urban inequality because they account for about 60% of urban growth, being born into families migrating increasingly from rural areas to cities. Because cities tend to have stronger institutions and overall incomes then non-urban areas, the needs of the poorest urban populations tend to be overlooked by policy makers focusing on statistics that emphasize wealth. In fact, many children in cities all over the world lack access to basic services, such as education and clean water. The UNICEF report recommends the collection of much more data about the welfare of children in large urban environments worldwide and the inequities that affect their development.
To read more about the report, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/feb/28/unicef-children-central-urban-planning?newsfeed=true.