Thoughts To Live By…

Facts About Children and Poverty

Posted on: January 17, 2009

This photograph showing a starving Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture won Kevin Carter the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

Facts About Children and Poverty

Health Care and Nutrition

  • Measles, malaria and diarrhea are three of the biggest killers of children – yet all are preventable or treatable
  • More than 30 million children in the world are not immunized against treatable or preventable diseases
  • 95 percent of all the people who get polio are under the age of 5
  • HIV/AIDS has created more than 14 million orphans – 92 percent of them live in Africa
  • Six million children under five die every year as a result of hunger

Education

  • 134 million children between the ages of 7 to 18 have never been to school.
  • Girls are more likely to go without schooling than boys – in the Middle East and North Africa, girls are three times more likely than boys to be denied education
  • For every year of education, wages increase by a worldwide average of 10 percent
  • Educated mothers tend to send their children to school, helping to break the cycle of poverty

Exploitation

  • In the last decade, more than 2 million children have died as a direct result of armed conflict
  • More than 300,000 child soldiers are exploited in armed conflicts in over 30 countries around the world
  • 2 million children are believed to be exploited through the commercial sex trade
  • Approximately 246 million children work
  • 171 million children work in hazardous conditions

Pause and Reflect:

And what are we to say of increasing violence against women and against children of both sexes? Today this is one of the most widespread violations of human rights, and tragically it has even become a terror tactic: women taken hostage, children barbarously slaughtered. To this must be added the violence of forced prostitution and child pornography, and the exploitation of children in the workplace in conditions of veritable slavery. Practical steps are needed to try to stop the spread of these forms of violence. In particular, appropriate legal measures are needed at both the national and international level. If, as I have often stated in previous Messages, the dignity of every person is to be recognized and respected, the difficult task of education and cultural promotion must be faced. One element, in fact, absolutely must not be lacking in the ethical and cultural patrimony of the human family as a whole and of each individual person: awareness that human beings are all equal in dignity, deserve the same respect, and have the same rights and duties.

– John Paul II, World Day of Peace, January 1, 1998, 6

Sources:

Facts: http://www.care.org
Photograph: http://www.flatrock.org.nz
Quotation: Pope John Paul II, World Day of Peace, 1998

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