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Age demographics

A review of the available information on children's mobility and transport needs quickly reveals that this is a relatively under-researched area. Those studies that are available tend to focus on travel to and from school, and road safety. Most research has focussed on urban areas in developed countries. Very little attention is given to children's mobility needs and constraints in developing countries in both rural and urban areas. The impact of access to transport, or lack of it, on the development and well-being of children, the opportunities they may have as a result and the impact on their livelihoods is seldom considered.

Numerous factors have an impact on how children may be disadvantaged by lack of access to transport. Girls and handicapped children may be particularly badly affected. The 1999 UNICEF State of the World's Children report cites studies in Nepal showing that for every kilometer a child must walk to school the likelihood of school attendance falls by 2.5%. This figure rises even higher for girls and children with disabilities. Some reasons that lack of access to transport reduces the likelihood that a child will attend school include time constraints (this particularly affects girls as they often bare a greater burden of household responsibilities), safety or security fears and distance.

 

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