In 1970, the richest countries in the world committed to giving 0.7 percent of their Gross National Income (GNI) to international aid.

Since then, international aid had helped millions of vulnerable children worldwide It has also played a crucial role in helping developing countries make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Making sure donors meet their international aid commitments is an important step towards achieving the MDGs, but money alone is not enough. We must ensure that the rights of all children are met

How are child rights affected by international aid?

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) explicitly calls for international cooperation to focus on the needs of children in developing countries. This means that the UK Government has an obligation to help ensure that it protects the rights of all children, not just those in the UK.

Still, millions of the world’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised children are being left behind. Progress toward achieving the MDGs is uneven and slow. For example, half of the 8.8 million under-five deaths in 2008 took place in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia together account for more than three quarters of the 100 million primary-school-aged children currently out of school. 

Linet from Kenya sleeps under a bednet which protects her from malaria. © M.Hallahan/Sumitomo Chemical – Olyset Net
Linet from Kenya sleeps under a bednet which protects her from malaria. In 2010 alone, UNICEF delivered more than 23 million mosquito nets, ensuring that children like Linet are protected from malaria.© M.Hallahan/Sumitomo Chemical – Olyset Net