In most countries with high human development indicators, public sector social expenditures that particularly impact children, such as health, education and social welfare, comprise around 20% of gross domestic product (GDP). In Myanmar, these account for less than 3% of GDP. Myanmar ranked 112 out of 172 countries in the End of Childhood Index in 2017 (with a score of 757 out of 1,000), rated as “Many children missing out on childhood.”
Overall, poverty has reduced in the past 10 years, however, 32% of the population remains poor and the extreme poverty rate was 7% in 2015. Families in rural areas are much more likely to be poor than their urban counterparts, and 13 million children live in the bottom 2 wealth quintiles.
Poor households are exposed to regular shocks, mainly for financial and health reasons, which put them at constant risk of further poverty. Girls and boys drop out of school to migrate and work, and are at high risk to be food and nutrition insecure. Up to 21% of children age 5-17 are working, nearly half in hazardous jobs. Children work 52 hours/week on average, and half start working before the legal age of 13, some as young as 8.
Children's opinions on issues that affect their lives are rarely heard and taken into account by decision makers, which is a structural problem and an established social norm in the country. The KidsRights Index is an annual global ranking on how well countries are adhering to children’s rights. In 2017, Myanmar ranked 116 out of 165 countries in the KidsRights Index.
STRATEGIC GOAL 6: FAMILIES HAVE SUSTAINED ACCESS TO SUFFICIENT RESOURCES AND SOCIAL PROTECTION SERVICES TO PROVIDE FOR THE BASIC NEEDS OF THEIR CHILDREN AND PREVENT THEM FROM BEING UNDERNOURISHED AND EXPOSED TO HARMFUL WORK AND UNSAFE MIGRATION
FOCUSING ON: Children living in the poorest rural and urban areas, in conflict-affected areas, children of internally displaced families, and those attending or to be enrolled in secondary schools.
STRATEGIC GOAL 7: DUTY BEARERS ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO BOYS AND GIRLS IN SECURING AND RESPECTING THEIR RIGHTS
FOCUSING ON: Boys and girls under 18 in rural areas, both in school and out of school, disabled and conflict-affected children, those from different religious/social backgrounds and children in the poorest families