Urbanization & Children in the Pacific

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“Urbanization is a reflection of social advancement and modernization, and goes hand in hand with economic development” (UNCHS 1996a, cited in UNESCAP, 2003). As a result of urbanization, governments are able to provide services for social development such as education, health and recreation more efficiently (UNESCAP, 2003), and therefore urban children tend to be viewed as better off than their rural counterparts. UNICEF (2002)’s research however highlights that tens of millions of urban children are living in deep poverty and are marginalized, with no access to basic services such as shelter, sanitation, health and education and are most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. This is of particular concern as, according to the United Nations (UN), 60% of children from developing countries will live in cities by 2025 (cited in CRIN, 2008). Furthermore, the World Bank (WB) estimates that though rural areas currently represent the most prominent sites of poverty around the world, this picture could change by 2035, with cities becoming the major sites of poverty (ibid).

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