Children at Risk


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  Scott & Dionne Husted |


There are 2.1 billion children in the world, accounting for 36% of the world's population. Some 132 million children are born each year.

Globally, 1 in 4 children lives in abject poverty - in families with income lower than $1 a day. In developing countries, 1 in 3 children live in abject poverty.

One of every 12 children dies before they reach five, mostly from preventable causes.

Of every 100 children born in 2000:

53 were born in Asia (19 in India, 15 in China)
19 were born in sub-Saharan Africa
9 were born in Latin America and the Caribbean
7 were born in the Middle East and North Africa
5 were born in the Eastern Europe, CIS and Baltic States
7 were born in the industrialized nations of Western Europe, USA, Canada, Israel, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

If conditions remain unchanged, the following will most likely be their fate:

Birth registration
The births of 40 out of every 100 will not be registered. These children will have no official existence or recognition of nationality.

30 will suffer from malnutrition in their first five years of life.
Only 46 will be exclusively breastfed for the first three months of life.

Water and Sanitation
19 will have no access to clean drinking water.
40 will live without adequate sanitation.

17 of the children will never go to school. Of these, 9 will be girls. Of every 100 children who enter 1st grade, 25 will not reach the 5th grade.

Child labour
1 of every 5 children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the developing world will work.

Half of those who work will do so full time.
9 of the 24 children born in Africa will work.
11 of the 53 children born in Asia will work.
1 of the 8 born in Latin America will work.

In the 45 countries most affected by HIV/AIDS, their average life expectancy is 58 years. In Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe - countries heavily affected by HIV/AIDS - life expectancy is less than 43 years.

Sources: ILO Child Labour Statistics; UNICEF, The State of the World's Children, 2002; UN Population Division.


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