All children count, but not all children are counted

Sustainable development must include all children. Yet there are vulnerable children who often remain invisible and are therefore excluded from opportunities to build sustainable futures. Together with other children’s organisations, SOS Children’s Villages is calling on the UN to ensure that children without parental care and children living outside of households are monitored and counted as part of its global Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

When the 193 United Nations member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, they pledged to leave no one behind in the fight to end poverty, reduce inequality, and ensure sustainable development. This pledge means that all vulnerable children have to be included in the goals laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But too often, children who have lost the care of their parents and children living outside of households are not counted and become invisible.
To be able to measure how the world makes progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, every child must be taken into account – every child has to be counted.   
Having comprehensive and reliable data about vulnerable children is essential to understand their needs and to mobilise resources appropriately.
The Inter-Agency Expert Group on the SDGs is developing a global framework to track the progress made towards reaching the SDGs. NGOs and civil society bodies have been invited to submit their views and recommendations regarding the indicators to be used for monitoring improvements.

Since 2015, SOS Children’s Villages, together with Lumos, has been coordinating a joint open letter to the Inter-Agency Expert Group asking the UN to ensure that children living outside of households and/or without parental care are included in the monitoring framework. Over 250 leading children’s NGOs and disability-rights organisations have expressed their support for the initiative and signed the letter.

The letter’s recommendations include:
  • To ensure that children living outside of households and/or without parental care are represented in disaggregated data
  • To improve and expand data collection methodologies to ensure all children are represented

Click to see a map of all co-signing organisations: