Poverty, Conflict & Gender Bias Threaten 1.2 Billion Kids Worldwide

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“More than half the world’s children start their lives held back because they are a girl, because they are poor or because they are growing up in a war-zone.”

A report compiled by international charity Save the Children, titled “The Many Faces of Exclusion,” highlights the threats that have taken away the innocent childhood from more than half of the world’s children.

Conflict, poverty and gender bias are the threats that have robbed off the childhood of most of the world’s children. At least 1.2 billion children worldwide face at least one of these threats, whereas 153 million face all of the threats.

As per the report, almost one billion children live in poverty-stricken countries, nearly 240 million live in countries experiencing conflict and 575 million girls live in countries where sexual discrimination is common.

“More than half the world’s children start their lives held back because they are a girl, because they are poor or because they are growing up in a war zone,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the charity’s chief executive.

“Governments can and must do more to give every child the best possible start in life,” she added. 

Out of 175 countries surveyed, 58 countries have proved to be the worst for children when it comes to conditions of education, healthcare, freedom and safety.

Eight of the 10 countries ranked worst for children, all thanks to the threats prevailing there, were all from Africa. The greatest level of threat to children was in Niger.

"We do need most African governments to step up and invest more in their children," David Wright, Save the Children's regional director for East & Southern Africa told Al Jazeera.

On the contrary, Singapore and Slovenia were ranked as countries that were safe for children with the lowest threat-related incidents.

The report estimates, more than 150 million girls would be married off forcefully before they turn 18 and teen pregnancy will increase by 2030.

According to the United Nations, around 168 million children were subjected to child labor last year. Meanwhile, UNICEF, the U.N.’s charity for childrenestimates that some 28 million minors are currently "forcibly displaced," 10 million of them are refugees.

The report pleaded governments to urgently take actions on 10 issues, including displacement, child marriage and forced labor.

Find out more in the video above.

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Amr Abdallah Dalsh       

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