Monday, March 28, 2011


The Human Rights Commission's workshop on Equity in the Realisation of Children's Rights in South Africa revealed that 11,9million children live in poverty. It also revealed that a child growing up in deprived communities was two times less likely to have access to adequate sanitation and water, two times less likely to be exposed to early childhood development programmes, three times less likely to complete secondary education and 17 times more likely to experience hunger. African children are 12 times more likely to experience hunger than white children

About 1.7million children lived in shacks, 1.4million relied on rivers or streams as their main source of water, and 1.5million had no toilet in their home. "Most" causes of death of children under five were avoidable; and 61% of all child deaths were due to "health system failures" - inadequate care by doctors and nurses working at clinics and hospitals. One in five children is stunted by chronic malnutrition, and 100000 children who need antiretroviral drugs did not get them. Immunisation coverage across the country for killer diseases, including polio, hepatitis, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and tuberculosis, has decreased to as little as 45% in some areas compared to 1994.

In education, 582000 children of high school age were not at school - 28% of them because their parents could not afford school fees. Four out of 10 children live in households in which none of the adults work.

Of the 49million people living in South Africa, 18million of them were children under the age of 18 and more than 60 percent of them were African children living in hunger. Of 56500 children who were victims of violent crime in 2009-2010, 27417 were raped or molested. Of those, 29% were under the age of 10 years

Aida Girma, Unicef's representative in South Africa, said the situation was similar to that in other developing countries, where "millions of the world's most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised children" are left behind.

No comments: