World Unfair To Poor Children – UNICEF | Independent Newspapers Limited
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World Unfair To Poor Children – UNICEF

Posted: Nov 19, 2015 at 10:00 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The world remains a deeply unfair place for the poorest and most disadvantaged children despite major advances since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has stated in report released today.

The report titled, For every child, a fair chance: The promise of equity, depicts a statistical picture of how the world’s most marginalized children have fared against basic human development indicators.

It points out that children from the poorest households are nearly twice as likely as those from the richest households to die before age five, and five times more likely to be out of school, stating also that girls from the poorest families are four times more likely as those from the richest families to be married before 18.

According to the report, more than 2.4 billion people still do not have adequate toilets – 40 per cent of them in South Asia; and more than 660 million still lack access to safe drinking water – nearly half of them in sub-Saharan Africa, just as roughly half of the 159 million children suffering from stunting live in South Asia and one-third in Africa.

Speaking to these figures, UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, said, “In just over a generation, the world has cut child death rates by half, put over 90 per cent of children in primary school, and increased by 2.6 billion the number of people with access to safe water.

“Yet children make up almost half of the world’s poor, nearly 250 million children live in conflict-torn countries, and over 200,000 have risked their lives this year seeking refuge in Europe.”

According to Lake, “Such vast inequities fuel a vicious intergenerational cycle of poverty and disadvantage,” Lake said. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. We know how to slow, stop, and reverse it into a virtuous cycle of intergenerational progress. It is up to us to decide to do so through more commitment and resources. We must make this moral, pragmatic, strategic…and fair…choice.”

Meanwhile, a team of UNICEF Ambassadors are raising their voices or activating their social media networks to help spur action for the world’s most vulnerable children as part of UNICEF’s “Fight Unfair” campaign.

“It is shocking to think that one in nine children lives in a country affected by armed conflict, witnessing horrific violence and having their rights to survival, health and education destroyed,” British actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom, said.