The State of the World's Children 2006 - Excluded and invisible

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This year’s report highlights the millions of children who have not been the beneficiaries of past gains, the ones who are excluded or ‘invisible’. These are children without adequate access to education, to life-saving vaccines, to protection. Despite enormous efforts to reach children with needed services, millions continue to die every year. The world has agreed upon a road map to a better future in the form of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which stem from the Millennium Declaration, adopted in 2000 by 189 countries. The goals set quantitative targets to address extreme poverty and hunger, child and maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS and other diseases, while promoting universal primary education, gender equality, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development by 2015. The MDGs serve as a framework to make the Millennium Declaration’s vision of a world of peace, security, solidarity and shared responsibility a reality. Our focus on meeting the MDGs, however, must not overlook the millions of children who, even if the goals are met, will be left out. These are the children most in need: the poorest, the most vulnerable, the exploited and the abused. Reaching these children - many of whom are currently beyond the reach of laws, programmes, research and budgets - is a challenge. And yet, meeting our commitments to children will be possible only if we approach the challenge head-on.

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