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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Australian children want more action on global poverty

Nine out of 10 Australian children (87%) say it is important for people in Australia to try and do something to reduce the number of children overseas who grow up in poverty, with the number-one reason being ‘because no child anywhere should grow up in poverty’. These findings come from the latest ChildFund Australia survey, Perceptions of Child Poverty and Aid Effectiveness 2012.

The vast majority of Australian children also recognise how lucky they are to live in Australia, with 89% saying they think the lives of children in developing countries are ‘a lot worse’ than their life.

At the same time, most Australian children do not believe that current aid efforts are improving the lives of their peers overseas. Only a quarter (25%) think aid is ‘effective’ in reducing poverty for children in overseas countries, while almost two-thirds (63%) say it is ‘ineffective’.

Asked whether they believe the lives of children in poor countries are getting better or worse, or has there been no real change, only 12% say ‘better’, while 38% say there has been ‘no real change’ and a third (33%) say that the lives of children in poor countries are getting ‘worse’.

Despite their concerns about the effectiveness of aid, 42% of Australian children say ‘Australians should give more money to help children in poor countries’.

There is also considerable support among Australian children to learn more about developing countries and international aid at school, with 50% of Australian children saying they should be taught ‘more’, 40% ‘the same’ and just 3% ‘less’.

“As a child-focused agency, ChildFund recognises children as active citizens with important perspectives and opinions to offer. Additionally, Australian children are the next generation of opinion-shapers on aid and development issues,” said Mr. Spence.

“It is reassuring that Australian children show empathy and compassion for their peers overseas and are keen to learn more about global issues. However, they do show a more pessimistic view than adults about the progress being made. We hope through global education initiatives, such as our ChildFund Connect program, over time we’ll see a more positive outlook from young Australians.”

The full 2012 Perceptions of Child Poverty and Aid Effectiveness survey report is available for download here.


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