UNICEF: Children's lot improving globally

NEW YORK, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The condition of children around the world has improved in the past five years, with fewer deaths and more access to education, UNICEF said in New York.

The United Nations Children's Fund released a special report Thursday on the State of the World's Children to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. More than 70 countries have adopted the convention's principles into their own legal codes.


Too many children still live in poverty, Ann Veneman, UNICEF executive director said.

"It is unacceptable that children are still dying from preventable causes, like pneumonia, malaria, measles and malnutrition," she said. "Many of the world's children will never see the inside of a school room, and millions lack protection against violence, abuse, exploitation, discrimination and neglect."

But she said the number of deaths of children under 5 around the world has dropped from 12.5 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. About 84 percent of the world's primary school age children are enrolled in school, and the education gap between boys and girls is closing.

She said there are stronger protections against children being recruited as soldiers by rebel groups or paramilitary organizations.


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