A new UNICEF report shows that a child is killed as a result of violent behavior every five minutes. UNICEF’s report states the majority of these deaths occur outside of war zones with 75 percent of an estimated 345 violent deaths occurring in peaceful countries, according to The Daily Star.
UNICEF also reveals that children are more likely to die of violence if they live in a poorer country. BBC, following UNICEF’s note, reported that “an adolescent boy in Latin America is 70 times more likely to be murdered than one in the UK.” And according to The Daily Star, in Brazil the lives of almost 15,000 adolescents have been lost due to violence.
According to BBC News, the UNICEF report finds that only 41 countries have an explicit ban on violence against children. UNICEF states as well that although children from poorer countries are more at risk of experiencing violent behavior, richer countries too need to be on their guard. The Inquistr recently reported on a case in which the bodies of four children were found in a locker in Canada. The death of children by violence, UNICEF says, is an epidemic.
“We are uncovering the fact that children experience extreme violence in everyday life, everywhere.”
Susan Bissell, UNICEF’s Global Head of Child Protection, acknowledged that in the past, UNICEF paid less attention to child mortality as a result of violence when compared to other causes of death such as preventable diseases. According to the UNICEF website, one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that is preventable by vaccine. The global under-five child mortality rate as reported by UNICEF is 49 percent.
“What is shocking is that we have for two or three decades focused a lot, and importantly, on child mortality from preventable diseases, and what this report says is that we need to be thinking about child mortality from all causes.”
UNICEF has started a campaign called ‘Children in Danger’ in which they are attempting to raise funds to keep children safe and to advocate for children’s rights. UNICEF’s goals for their campaign are listed on the UNICEF UK blog. They include putting an end to violence against children and ensuring children are safe and strong in the face of disaster and conflict.
“The wake-up call is to say this is happening in your backyard, this is happening around the corner, this is happening across the ocean and we need to take charge and do something about it.”
UNICEF has been helping children in need since 1946.
[Image via un.org]