A United Nations Children's Fund report says 180 million children in 37 countries live in extreme poverty, without education or in danger of being killed.

Internally displaced Afghan children fetch water from a pump at a refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Internally displaced Afghan children fetch water from a pump at a refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AFP)

Even though global efforts are made, one in 12 children worldwide live in countries where their prospects today are worse than their parents', according to a UNICEF analysis conducted for World Children’s Day.

According to the analysis, 180 million children live in 37 countries where they are more likely to live in extreme poverty, be out of education, or be killed by violent death than those children who were living in those countries 20 years ago.

“While the last generation has seen vast, unprecedented gains in living standards for most of the world's children, the fact that a forgotten minority of children have been excluded from this – through no fault of their own or those of their families – is a travesty,” said UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy, Laurence Chandy.  

“In a time of rapid technological change leading to huge gains in living standards, it is perverse that hundreds of millions are seeing living standards actually decline, creating a sense of injustice among them and failure among those entrusted with their care,” said Chandy. “No wonder they feel their voices are unheard and their futures uncertain.”

According to a separate UNICEF survey of children aged 9-18 in 14 countries released on Monday, children are deeply concerned about global issues which are affecting their peers in another part of the world including violence, terrorism, conflict, climate change, unfair treatment of refugees, and poverty. 

World Children's Day

The United Nations' Universal Children's Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness among children worldwide.

World Children’s Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), with global children’s "take overs", high-profile events in over 130 countries to give children their own platform to help save children’s lives and fight for their rights.

“It is the hope of every parent, everywhere, to provide greater opportunities for their children than they themselves enjoyed when they were young. This World Children’s Day, we have to take stock of how many children are instead seeing opportunities narrow and their prospects diminish,” Chandy added.

World Children’s Day is a day when children from around the world will be taking over key roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to express their concerns about what global leaders should be focusing on, and to voice support for the millions of their peers who are facing a less hopeful future.

“World Children’s Day is about listening to us and giving us a say in our future. And our message is clear: We need to speak up for ourselves, and when we do, the world needs to listen,” said Jaden Michael, 14-year-old activist and UNICEF child advocate.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies