Executive Director Tony Lake launches the State of the World's Children 2012 report in Mexico
On 28 February 2012 in Mexico, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, together with President of Mexico Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, launched ‘The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World’, at the Presidential Palace in Mexico City, the capital.
The report, UNICEF’s annual flagship publication, finds that over half the world’s 7 billion population, including more than 1 billion children, now live in urban areas. In a few years, most children will grow up in a town or city, and hundreds of millions of urban children are currently excluded from vital services. While cities and towns provide greater access to schools, clinics and playgrounds, some of the greatest disparities in children’s daily living conditions and opportunities are in urban settings. Infrastructure and services are not keeping pace with urban population growth, leaving the poorest families without required services and at disproportionate risk of violence, exploitation, disease and other social ills. The report calls for children to be at the heart of urban planning efforts, with a focus on the most disadvantaged, and with greater recognition of community based efforts – including children – to combat urban poverty.