General Comment No. 7

Indicator Set 9: Basic Material Needs

A recent study revealed that the lives of 200 million young children are being compromised because governments are not fulfilling their commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was created through state negotiation to ensure that every child reaches his or her full potential.

The statistics on child poverty and hunger are alarming. According to UNICEF:

  • 600 million children worldwide live in absolute poverty
  • 30,000 children die each day due to poverty
  • Over 300 million children go to bed hungry every day

One of the main reasons why State parties created the CRC was that children experience many things differently from adults. Childhood experiences that are negative and/or not supportive of the specific needs of young children, may hold back maximum developmental achievement. These children may experience problems throughout their lives that in turn could affect the development of countries themselves. States parties need to remember this very basic fact when they are making all legal and policy decisions.

Each and every legal and policy decision affects children's standards of living. Research shows that children experience a poor standard of living differently from adults. Poverty and deprivation of basic material needs have permanent effects on children. Even short periods of deprivation can impact children

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