Young Lives child poverty conference captures 'the story of the first part of this century'

On Wednesday 27th June, more than 100 researchers, policymakers and practitioners joined the Young Lives team at the 'Young Lives, child poverty and lessons for the SDGs' conference held at the British Academy in London to mark the first 15 years of the study, to share and debate findings so far, and to help outline what governments and donors can do to address the disadvantages children face. 

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing reflective blogs from panellists and attendees who contributed on the day, including a post-conference briefing note drawing together lessons and next steps for sustainable development committed to supporting children growing up in poverty. For now, we take stock of the vibrant and varied discussions with a selection of photos, slide sets and recordings from the day.

Our conference came out of a significant context: the current generation of young people represents the largest cohort of youth in history - with more than 4 in 10 people across the globe now under the age of 25. This generation is growing up during a period of remarkable change and will confront some of the biggest challenges humanity is facing in the 21st century. However, as the United Nations observed in 2016, their future is widely compromised by the failure to empower them to achieve their potential. Recognising this, children and young people are at the very core of the 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which act as a platform for global policymakers and practitioners to address the needs of the most disadvantaged around the world.

International estimates show that children are typically half of all of those people who are poor, and research shows how sensitive childhood is as a period of human development. Despite that, children and youth remain too often invisible in social statistics and neglected in policy processes. Young Lives is uniquely placed to address critical gaps in knowledge around children and adolescents living in poverty. The conference aimed to situate current evidence on the drivers and impacts of child poverty within the wider academic discourse, child development agenda and current policy debates to reflect on lessons for the SDGs. 

The conference comprised a core of panel discussions, mixed with interactive group sessions focused on current challenges and policy questions, alongside a cast of multimedia presentations of Young Lives data and findings. Themes covered (which can be seen in our conference programme here) included child development, social protection, gender, nutrition, education, labour markets, children's work, violence, and experience of adolescence. 

For the full round-up with images, agenda, animation and supporting materials, please visit our conference page here.