More than 40 percent of infants and youth in Brazil up to 14 years of age live in poverty, according to a new study titled “The Scene of Infants and Adolescents in Brazil.” The percentage represents a total of 17.3 million people nationwide.
Conducted by the Abrinq Foundation, the study also revealed that of the total number of youth and adolescents living in poverty, 5.8 million, or 13.5 percent, live in extreme poverty.
The research compares and contrasts Brazil's social indicators to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, of which the South American country is a signatory along with 192 other countries.
“Unless more investments are dedicated to public policies geared towards the most vulnerable populations, Brazil will certainly not achieve some (SDGs) targets,” said Heloisa Oliveira, an executive administrator of Abrinq Foundation. “If larger investments are not placed in basic social politics dedicated to infants, we will be far behind in complying with the agreement.”
One of the SDGs goals relates to the availability of nurseries. Oliveira argued that Brazil offer nursery vacancies for 50 percent of infants up to three years of age as part of its National Education Plan, or PNE, “Today we don't have 27 percent coverage...If you don't increase investment and the number of nursery vacancies we will not reach the 50 percent goal established by the PNE. This is also a target set by the Sustainable Development Goals.
Another SDG goal Brazil is far from achieving is related to the eradication of child labor. “The agreement anticipates/envisages/expects that all countries eradicate all forms of slave labor and child labor by 2025. We (Brazil) still have 2.5 million children who work,” said Oliveira.