Children from marginalized ethnic, linguistic and religious groups in 22 low- and middle-income countries analyzed lag far behind their peers in reading literacy. Credit: Brian Moonga/IPS by Baher Kamal (Madrid)Monday 21 November 2022Inter Press Service
MADRID, Nov 21 (IPS) – An undeniable truth is that no child has ever decided where they want to be born, what skin color they want to be, what ethnic community they want to belong to, what religion they practice and what language they speak or how safe or dangerous the context in which one grows up. A child is the most innocent and defenseless human being.
Yet children are easy prey for all manner of brutalities, everywhere, every day. See how.
Racism and discrimination against children based on their ethnicity, language and religion are widespread in countries around the world, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said ahead of this year’s World Children’s Day on November 20.
In its report, Rights Denied: The Impact of Discrimination on Children, the world’s largest organization defending children’s rights reveals the amazing impact discrimination has on children and the extent to which racism and discrimination affect their education, health and access to a child registered law affecting birth and a fair and equal legal system.
It also highlights widespread differences between minority and ethnic groups.
A Life of Pain: “Systemic racism and discrimination puts children at risk of deprivation and exclusion that can last a lifetime,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “This hurts us all”
Ethnicity, Language, Religion: The report shows that children from marginalized ethnic, linguistic and religious groups in 22 analyzed low- and middle-income countries lag far behind their peers in reading literacy.
Lagging: On average, students ages 7 to 14 in the most disadvantaged group are more than twice as likely to have basic reading skills as students in the least disadvantaged group.
A UNICEF analysis of data on the level of children registered at birth – a prerequisite for access to fundamental rights – found significant differences between children from different religious and ethnic groups.
Black children are not children: In their report to the UN General Assembly on November 8, 2022, UN human rights experts stated that children of African descent “are not children at all, even in the eyes of the law”.
“The unresolved legacies of trade and human trafficking of enslaved Africans, colonialism, post-colonial apartheid and segregation continue to harm these children today.”
Deprivation: Discrimination and exclusion deepen intergenerational deprivation and poverty, leading to poorer health, nutrition and learning outcomes for children, greater likelihood of incarceration, higher pregnancy rates among adolescent girls, and lower employment rates and earnings in adulthood.
“Poverty,” humiliation, stigma: Like racism and sexism, “poverty” should be illegal, said Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier de Schutter, in his latest report to the world body.
“People are stereotyped and discriminated against just because they are poor. This is frankly disgusting and an eyesore to our society.”
Needless to say, children suffer the most from impoverishment, humiliation and stigma.
No Vaccination: While COVID-19 has exposed deep injustices and discrimination around the world, and the effects of climate change and conflict continue to expose inequalities in many countries, UNICEF highlights that discrimination and exclusion for millions of ethnic and minority children has long been a problem persist, including access to vaccinations, water and sanitation,
Condemned to the darkness of ignorance: More than two-thirds of 10-year-olds are unable to read and understand a simple text. And 244 million children are still out of school, while educational centers are victims of armed attacks.
More startling discoveries
In addition to all the brutalities already reported against the most innocent and defenseless people – children – many more crimes are being committed amidst global impunity.
The following are just a few tragic examples.
One billion children experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence every year.
Every seven minutes a child dies from violence.
Millions of children are displaced by armed conflict. These children are at high risk of severe abuse in and around camps and other places of refuge.
Drowned, abandoned, stranded: Children often have to migrate with their parents to flee armed conflicts, severe droughts, floods and landslides that they did not cause. Children drown on their journey to hell, and those who survive are often separated from their families and abandoned at the borders.
Violence Without Borders: Violence against children knows no borders of culture, class or education. It takes place against children in institutions, in schools and at home. Peer violence is also a concern, as is the rise in cyberbullying.
Isolation, loneliness, fear: Children exposed to violence live in isolation, loneliness and fear and do not know where to turn for help, especially when the perpetrator is someone close to them.
Hunted in Refugee Camps: Criminal groups trafficking in the lives of the most vulnerable go to refugee camps to hunt down defenseless children and youth for trafficking, smuggling, enslavement and making money selling their organs.
Slavery: Millions of children are forced into forced labor and perform extremely hazardous work. And 70% of boys and girls living in rural areas are workers.
All these crimes against innocent children are being committed. And go unpunished.
No wonder the world is so busy talking about weapons, wars, oil, gas, carbon, the concentration of food markets, more technology and how to further expand the digitization of all areas of life.
© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service
Browse related news topics:
Read the latest news:
Crimes against children Monday, November 21, 2022Arbitrary arrests in El Salvador hit LGBTI community Monday, November 21, 2022A looming debt crisis threatens global health security. It’s time to drop the debt Monday, November 21, 2022US fights sexual abuse in international organizations Monday, November 21, 2022Myanmar crisis: Human rights expert calls on Korea to play “enhanced leadership” Monday, November 21, 2022Loss and Damage Fund saves COP27 from the Abyss Sunday, November 20, 2022COP27: Historic Loss and Damage Fund brings COP27 to the brink Sunday, November 20, 2022Night blasts near Ukraine’s nuclear power plant play with fire! – UN Nuclear Chief Sunday 20th November 2022″Joining forces” for a peaceful, prosperous continent, urges UN chief on Day of industrialization in Africa Sunday 20th November 2022First person: Saving lives and slowing the spread of cholera in Haiti prevent Sunday, November 20, 2022
Learn more about the issues involved:
Bookmark or share this through some popular social bookmarking websites:
Link to this page from your website/blog
Add the following HTML code to your page: