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Unicef's Carol Bellamy
"Half of all the land mine victims are children"
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Monday, 13 December, 1999, 10:14 GMT
Child poverty worsens - Unicef

Jakarta rubbish collecting Unicef says children's rights to a full life are compromised every day

By Caroline Wyatt in Berlin

Unicef has criticised world governments for failing to deliver on their ambitious commitments made to the world's infants at the 1990 Summit for Children.

Failing the world's children
600 million children live on less than $1 a day
4.1 million child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa
Per capita income lower now than in 1989 in 80 countries
About 250 million children of 5-14 work in developing world
The UN children's fund says, despite growing world prosperity, more than 600 million children are still living in poverty - more than at the beginning of the decade.

The comments come in Unicef's end-of-year survey, State of the World's Children 2000.

Despite considerable gains, such as the halving of infant mortality this century and the effect of eradication of polio, the fund says the 1990s were a decade of undeclared war on women, children and adolescents.

Unicef director Carol Bellamy blames the failure of leadership in developed and developing countries for allowing gross violations such as the targeting of women and children in wars and the use of child labour.

Aids: "A preventable disease that feeds on silence"
According to Unicef 250 million children in developing countries are forced to work, while 8,000,000 have been killed or injured in armed conflicts since 1990.

The report also describes as a disgrace the lack of resources devoted to fighting the spread of HIV and Aids which now kills more women and children in Africa than armed conflict - 2,000,000 last year alone.

The report says as many as five young people are infected by HIV every minute. By the end of 2000 a total of 13 million children will have lost their mother or both parents to Aids.

Although infant mortality has halved during the twentieth century, the report says it is still too high in many poorer countries, with up to 15% of children dying before the age of five in Pakistan, India, Rwanda and Sudan.

One of the solutions, according to Unicef is debt relief for poor nations.

Another is regulating globalisation to ensure the protection of children's' rights whether on the labour market or in education and health.

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See also:
22 Jul 99 |  Africa
Debt 'killing children'
25 Jun 99 |  Africa
The child victims of war
08 Dec 98 |  Education
Children missing out on education
20 Nov 99 |  World
UN: Save the children
08 Sep 99 |  World
Children top conference agenda

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