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Monitoring Global Goals progress and disparities among children in South Africa

South Africa has undergone significant transformation since the end of apartheid in 1994. The country boasts one of the most progressive constitutions in the word and has put in place new policies to expand support and service delivery to its citizens.

We supported the United Nations Children’s Fund and the South African Human Rights Commission with an in-depth analysis of child rights and inequality, to take stock of the progress made in the last two decades and highlight remaining challenges.

Based on in-depth analysis of different data sources, the report shows that South Africa has achieved impressive reductions in child poverty, mother-to-child transmission of HIV, child mortality, and rising school attendance rates. But these achievements are only part of the story. Stark gaps in opportunity – between rich and poor households, urban and rural communities, Black African and White children – perpetuate intergenerational cycles of deprivation. Disadvantages based on gender, disability and other markers persist.

Our report pinpoints areas for improvement for policy-makers. The former South African Human Rights Commission member Lindiwe Mokate stated in the report’s foreword that it would be “useful information as the state reviews its performance in terms of commitments made”.