Based on the resolution of the Government of the Republic of Belarus No. 1504 of November 9, 2011, and according to the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus and UNICEF Country Office in Belarus signed on July 25, 2011, the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus carried out the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of the situation of children and women in 2012.
The main objectives of the survey are as follows:
– to get the information for the assessment of occurring changes in the conditions of children and women in Belarus and data required to monitor the progress towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as those stated in the Declaration and the Plan of Action “A World Fit for Children” and the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
– to provide relevant information to the Government and public authorities of the Republic of Belarus for planning and implementation of social programmes as related to children, women and youth both at the national and regional levels;
– to prepare a report on the situation of children and women in Belarus.
After Belarus signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the Government of the country undertook the commitment to monitor progress towards achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. One of the tools to monitor MDGs is the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of households (MICS).
MICS is a household survey programme developed by UNICEF to collect statistically rigorous and internationally comparable indicators.
The survey carried out in Belarus provided the information related to the important aspects of the life of children, specifically, their nutrition and health status, child labour, practices of child-rearing in families and various activities contributing to early childhood education. Within the framework of MICS the indicators reflecting reproductive behaviour in women, attitudes of women and men towards domestic violence, sexual behaviour of young people, use of tobacco and alcohol among teenagers and young people, access to mass media, life satisfaction of young people, and other relevant for Belarus issues were also studied.
The survey covered 8,5 thousand households, of which 3,4 thousand – households with children under 5 years of age. Such sample size ensured data representativeness for a large number of indicators related to the situation of children and women at the national level, in urban and rural areas, and also at the regional level.