[November 20, 2017] The Guardian
Unicef says young people feel their voices are unheard on global issues, as study finds prospects for 180 million worldwide bleaker than those of their parents.
A poll of children from 14 countries reveals how deeply worried they are about terrorism, poverty and poor education, and how mistrustful of adults and leaders in making good decisions for them. Analysis by the UN agency, released on Monday, found that despite global progress, one in 12 children – or 180 million worldwide – still live in countries where their futures look bleaker than those of their parents.
Millions of children in 37 countries are more likely to live in extreme poverty, be out of school, or to suffer a violent death than young people living in those nations 20 years ago: a situation Unicef said was “perverse”.
Nearly half of the children reported a lack of trust in their adults and world leaders to make good decisions for children. Mistrust was the highest in Brazil, where 81% of children did not trust their adults and world leaders, followed by South Africa at 69%. Children in India had the most confidence in their leaders, with only 30% feeling apprehension.
The survey also found that:
- Violent deaths among children below the age of 19 have increased in seven countries, all experiencing conflicts: Central African Republic, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.
- The share of people living on less than $1.90 (£1.60) a day has increased in 14 countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Primary school enrollment has declined in 21 countries, including Syria and Tanzania, due to factors including financial crises, rapid population growth and the impact of conflicts.