One in Every Four Children Robbed of Their Childhoods, New Save the Children Report Reveals
One quarter of the world’s children are being denied the opportunity to have the childhoods they deserve and grow to their full potential, a new report from Save the Children has revealed. Launched to coincide with International Children’s Day, June 1, “Stolen Childhoods” has found that at least 700 million children worldwide have had the promise of a full childhood brought to an early end. The reasons vary from extreme violence and conflict, often driving families from their homes; early marriage and pregnancy; child labor; poor health; malnutrition and food insecurity; and not having the chance to go to school.
The inaugural End of Childhood Report includes an index of 172 countries, ranked according to safe, secure and healthy childhood prospects.
Some of the report findings include:
- Every day, more than 16,000 children die before reaching their fifth birthday
- About one quarter of all children under five suffer from malnutrition, which stunts growth physically and mentally
- One in six school-aged children worldwide is currently out of school
- Conflict has forced nearly one child in 80 from their homes
- 168 million children in the world are involved in child labor – 85 million in hazardous work – which is more than all children living in Europe
- One girl under 15 is forced to marry every seven seconds
- Every two seconds, a girl around the world gives birth
- Every day, more than 200 boys and girls around the world are murdered
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International and member of Every Woman Every Child‘s High-Level Steering Group, said: “Children growing up in war, being targeted by violent groups, suffering and dying from disease, and experiencing harsh discrimination, are being robbed of everything that makes them children. It is unacceptable that in 2017, millions of children around the world still do not have their right to be safe, learn, grow and play. We must, and we can, do better than this.”
In their 2016 renewed commitment to the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, Save the Children committed to invest $2 billion in global health and nutrition work, in both development and humanitarian settings, for the period 2017-2021. They will work towards equitable outcomes in Save the Children health and nutrition programmes, measuring success by the extent to which we improve health outcomes for the poorest and most marginalised mothers and children and their communities.