Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Forgetting the Children

20th November was UN Universal Children’s Day. In Iraq about a million school-aged Iraqi children are internally displaced; 70 per cent of them have missed an entire year of education. UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake explains “that the spiral of poverty, disease and hunger stifles global development and leads to violations of children’s human rights.” Lake called on the world to confront the “uncomfortable truth” that around the planet, the rights of millions of children are being violated every day. “[Children’s rights are] being violated around the world, in every country, wherever children are the victims of violence, abuse and exploitation, violated wherever they are deprived of an education. [Their rights are violated] wherever they are denied the chance to make the most of their potential simply because of their race, their religion, their gender, their ethnic group, or because they are living with a disability”

UNICEF’s total resources for the period 2014–2017 amount to $26.7 billion. the world spends $1.7 trillion dollars a year on weapons.

• 16,000 children die every day, mostly from preventable or treatable causes.

• The births of nearly 230 million children under age 5 worldwide (about one in three) have never been officially recorded, depriving them of their right to a name and nationality.

• 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, including 946 million who are forced to resort to open defecation for lack of other options.

• Out of an estimated 35 million people living with HIV, over 2 million are 10 to 19 years old, and 56 per cent of them are girls.

• Globally, about one third of women aged 20 to 24 were child brides.

• Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence.

• Nearly half of all deaths in children under age 5 are attributable to undernutrition. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year.