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Levels and Trends in Child Mortality : Report 2019 (English)

Thirty years ago, the world made a commitment to protect and fulfil children’s rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among the most fundamental of these rights is the right of every child to survive. While substantial progress in child survival has been made since then, the failure to fully meet that commitment reverberates today for millions of children: In 2018 alone, 5.3 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday and almost 1 million children aged 5–14 years died. It is especially unacceptable that these children and young adolescents died largely of preventable or treatable causes like infectious diseases and injuries when we have the means to prevent these deaths. The continued burden of child deaths is a call to redouble efforts to realize the Convention’s promise and other international human rights commitments that protect every child’s right to survive. Although the global number of child deathsremains high, the world has made tremendous strides in reducing child and young adolescent mortality over the past few decades. The global under-five mortality rate declined by 59 per cent from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 39 in 2018, while mortality among children aged5–14 years fell by 53 per cent from 15 to 7 deaths per 1,000 children aged 5. Still, the burden ofchild deaths remains immense – the number of children aged 0–14 years that died in 2018, 6.2 million, is equivalent to the current population of Nicaragua. The global community recognizes the urgent need to end preventable child deaths, making it an essential part of global child survival goals and initiatives including the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The third SDG callsfor an end to preventable deaths of newborns and children under age 5, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-fivemortality to at least as low as 25 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2030. Protecting every child’s right to survive will require addressing persistent inequities and disparities in maternal and child health while also ensuring universal access to safe, effective, high-quality and affordable care for women, children and adolescents. It also demands great understanding of levels and trends in child mortality, as well as the underlying causes of child and young adolescent deaths to help guide policymaking and planning.


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    United Nations Children’s Fund World Health Organization World Bank Group United Nations Population Division

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    The World Region,

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    Levels and Trends in Child Mortality : Report 2019

  • Keywords

    convention on the rights of the child; children of ages; centre for research on the epidemiology; number of deaths of children; children under age; live birth; leading cause of death; maternal and child health; scientific study of population; improvements in drinking water; infant and child mortality; total number of death; access to basic service; least developed country; neonatal mortality; deaths among children; child mortality estimates; landlocked developing countries; death of child; risk of death; coefficient of variation; chance of survival; death by age; vital registration system; child mortality rate; neonatal mortality rates; infant mortality rate; diseases of childhood; decline in mortality; number of births; increase in mortality; loss of life; child survival intervention; civil registration systems; international human right; age at death; mortality of child; global child survival; number of women; oral rehydration salt; HIV and AIDS; survival and health; availability of data; road traffic injury; demographic surveillance site; right to survival; achievement of child; strategy for women; former soviet union; return on investment; exposure to risk



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United Nations Children’s Fund World Health Organization World Bank Group United Nations Population Division

Levels and Trends in Child Mortality : Report 2019 (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.