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Newly Emerging Needs of Children:Towards Widening the Policy Agenda in South Asia
Rekha Wazir
This article makes a case for widening the research and policy agenda for assessing the security and well-being of children. The traditional frameworks used for this purpose focus, quite rightly, on the major and persisting deficits facing children. While this is clearly necessary, and needs to be further strengthened, it is also crucial to use a wider frame of reference that is responsive to the emergence of new challenges. The principal aim of this article is to introduce the concept of ‘newly emerging needs’ (NENs) of children as an additional dimension in the discourse and in policy formulation. The article provides a working definition of the concept of NENs, and explains where and how they can be identified, what is ‘new’ about them and the forms in which they manifest themselves in the lives of children in South Asia. This is followed by a case study of India, which provides a useful means of cross-checking and validating the concept. The article ends with recommendations for identifying, monitoring and responding to NENs.

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