Caring for Children

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Every three seconds a child dies from easily preventable causes

Worldwide Facts: 


  • Every day almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related illness – one child every 5 seconds
  • Almost 10 million children die each year before their fifth birthday-  many from easily preventable and treatable causes such as malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition
  • Over 1 billion children do not have access to decent sanitation
  • Over 2.3 million children under the age of 15 have been recorded of having HIV and AIDS



Children who suffer the death of their parents are most often exposed to the most extreme forms of exploitation. With a lack of parental care and guidance, they are often forced to fend for themselves and bare the responsibilities of a full-grown adult.


Hazardous Labour

Forced by the depths of poverty, an estimated 171 million children – of which 73 million are under 10 years old – are working in hazardous circumstances, including work with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture, with dangerous machinery on construction sites or in mines. These children face serious risks of injury, illness and death. Many of these children are forced to work more than 12 hours a day and earn extremely low wages.


Early Marriage

In poorer traditional societies, daughters are often perceived as financial burdens on families and, in turn, are often sold and coerced into marriage. Research shows that there is a much higher risk of early death for young brides who often become pregnant prematurely: girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than girls in their twenties. Their children are also less likely to survive.

Child Soldiers

Hundreds of thousands of children are caught up in armed conflict – namely as soldiers, cooks, or sex slaves for armed forces among other roles. While under the control of armed forces, children are forced to participate in and endure horrific atrocities.


Forced Labour

Sources: UNICEF, World Health Organization, United Nations Population Division and United Nations Statistics Division.

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