Protect my future: The links between child protection and employment and growth

This paper, commissioned by Family for Every Child and written by Josiah Kaplan and Nicola Jones of the Overseas Development Institute, is part of an inter-agency series on the links between child protection and major development goals, submitted to the United Nations consultations on the post-2015 development framework. 

This report explores the linkages between child protection and economic growth and employment, highlighting the importance of child-sensitive economic development, supported by education and social protection policies, as a means to ensure that measures to promote growth also improve children’s protection and care. Economic growth has the potential to free children from the worst forms of exploitation and violence, strengthen the reach and effectiveness of child protection services, and increase opportunities for human capital formation later in life. Economic growth could, in turn, be enhanced by improvements in child protection, as gaps in children’s education, nutrition, health and psychosocial development resulting from child protection deficits severely diminish individuals’ later productive capacities as adults, while increasing the subsequent cost of social services. This report emphasises the value of integrating a life cycle approach into the conceptualisation of inclusive growth and employment whereby childhood is considered as a time for learning and development, laying the foundations for future social and economic well-being. Children need to be supported during these critical periods of learning and development and protected from labour pressures, violence, neglect, and exploitation, within the home and in all other areas of their lives.

The report concludes with policy recommendations, highlighting that the post-2015 development framework should include goals, targets and indicators which help provide stronger, more comprehensive child protection systems, both as a means of promoting growth and employment as well as ensuring children’s well-being through growth that is sensitive to child protection needs.

Other papers in the series address subjects including governance, population dynamics, emergencies, equity and health.

Published 2013-06-05

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