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'The State of the World's Children 2012' - increasing urbanization is a great threat to children

More than half of the world’s 7 billion people now live in urban areas. What does this mean for children? UNICEF has dedicated the 2012 edition of its flagship report, The State of the World’s Children, to the situation of children growing up in urban settings. Cities are known to generate economic growth – but, as the report reveals, not all children are benefiting from urban expansion. In this increasingly urban world, the absence of a sustained focus on child rights means that some children are being left behind.

Increasing number of children living in slums and shantytowns

Cities offer many children the advantages of urban schools, clinics and playgrounds. Yet the same cities the world over are also the settings for some of the greatest disparities in children's health, education and wellbeing. "When we think of poverty, the image that traditionally comes to mind is that of a child in a rural village," says UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "But today, an increasing number of children living in slums and shantytowns are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the world, deprived of the most basic services and denied the right to thrive."

Results: facts and figures from ‘The State of the World’s Children 2012’

Some of the results from Unicef’s ‘The State of the World’s Children 2012’ include:

  • In 1955, 27% of all children between the age of 0-19 years lived in a city. 20 years later this number grew until 33%. In 2005 43% of all children lived in an urban environment. Unicef expects this number to grow to more than half of the world’s child population within the coming years.
  • 111 out of 1000 children born in Africa died in 2010 before they reached the age of 5 years old. In Asia this number was 48 out of 1000 in the same year and for the same category. These numbers are extremely high, especially compared to western countries such as the Netherlands where the number was 4 out of 1000 children in the same year and for the same category.
  • On estimate 24,6 million people in Africa suffer from HIV. The report shows that worldwide 35 million people are known to suffer from this disease of which about 3 million live in industrialized countries.

 

13 Mar 2012

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