Let's Not Forget the Children in Our World.

5 May 2002.

There is some very important information coming out at the moment, concerning the plight of children around the world. This is something that we all need to familiarise ourselves with.

The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recently released a report called 'We the Children: Meeting the Promises of the World Summit for Children'.
It is the most comprehensive study ever released on the condition of children. It shows that the inequalities and poverty faced by many of the

A child in Ethiopia
world's young people is directly related to under-investment in them, especially their health, education and protection. It recommends that if governments are truly serious about reducing poverty, then they must make children their first priority. Here are some of the key statistics related to its findings: (Please bear in mind that these figures refer to actual human children)

There are 2.1 billion children in the world, accounting for 35 percent of the world's population.

1 in every 4 children lives in abject poverty (In families with income lower than $1 a day).

In developing countries, 1 in every 3 children lives in abject poverty.

1 of every 12 children dies before they reach the age of five, mostly from preventable causes.

Out of every 100 children in the world:

27 are not immunized against any disease.
32 suffer from malnutrition in their first five years of life.
have no access to clean drinking water.
live without adequate sanitation.

18 of the children never go to school. Of these, 11 are girls.
25 who begin 1st grade do not reach the 5th grade.
17 children never learn how to read. 11 are girls.


1 of every 4 children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the developing world, work.
of those who work, do full time hours.

Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, has recently been quoted as saying that "investing in children is synonymous with investing in a more prosperous and stable world."

"World leaders today are focused on peace and security, and what we must do to achieve it. Our view is that they must invest in children. Children are the key force driving human development and global stability."

Carol Bellamy also said. "It's foolish to think that there is no connection between the state of the world today and the fact that hundreds of millions of children are denied an education, are not immunized, and are malnourished, exploited and raised on diets of poverty and violence."

"If we want to overcome poverty and the instability it breeds, we must start by investing in our young people," she added.

See also:

Nelson Mandela's speech on 'Building a Global Partnersip for Children', 6 May 2000

Source: UNICEF ( ILO Child Labor Statistics, The State of the World's Children Report (2001 and 2002)
United Nations ( We the Children: Meeting the Promises of the World Summit for Children)