Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Children at Risk of 'New Threats' Like Climate Change, Warns UNICEF

Climate

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.


In a report marking the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF said poverty and marginalization continued to put the well-being of millions of young people at risk.

UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore said in a statement that in addition to "the persistent challenges of health, nutrition and education, children today have to contend with new threats like climate change, online abuse and cyberbullying."

What's Changed Since 1989?

According to the report, the global mortality rate for children under five has fallen by about 60% over the past 30 years.

More children today also have access to primary education — the proportion of kids who don't attend school has dropped from 18% to 8%. But the report warned that progress has stagnated, with little change since 2007.

"There have been impressive gains for children over the past three decades, as more and more are living longer, better and healthier lives. However, the odds continue to be stacked against the poorest and most vulnerable," Fore said.

Under-fives from the poorest households are twice as likely to die from preventable causes than children from the richest households, the report said.

Although more children are immunized than ever before, vaccination rates have slowed over the past decade, contributing to a resurgence of diseases in some countries. Only half of poor children in sub-Saharan Africa are vaccinated against measles, for example.

Some girls are now more at risk of a child marriage than they would have been in 1989.

The report also stressed that children are most at risk of the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather and food and water insecurity.

'We Must Act Now'

Fore called for these challenges to be tackled through "innovation, new technologies, political will and increased resources."

"We must act now — boldly and creatively," she said.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Nov. 20, 1989. The treaty has been ratified by all UN member states bar the U.S.

Reposted with permission from DW.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The CDC has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guido Mieth / Moment / Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
A California newt (Taricha torosa) from Napa County, California, USA. Connor Long / CC BY-SA 3.0

Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.

Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images

Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
A customer packs groceries in reusable bags at a NYC supermarket on March 1, 2020. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.

Read More Show Less
Ingredients are displayed for the Old School Pinto Beans from the Decolonize Your Diet cookbook by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel. Melissa Renwick / Toronto Star via Getty Images

By Molly Matthews Multedo

Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.

Read More Show Less