Nov. 20 (UPI) -- UNICEF said on World Childrens' Day Monday that 180 million more children live in violence or extreme poverty than 20 years ago.
The figure refers to 37 countries in which the children are likely to live in poverty, be without a school or die by violence. One in 12 children worldwide live in conditions offering prospects more limited than those of their parents, according to the report.
It cited 21 countries in which primary school enrollment has declined because of rapid population growth and the impact of military conflicts, and seven war-torn countries in which violent deaths of people under 19 have increased. The share of those living on $1.90 per day, because of unrest or poor government policies, has increased in 14 countries.
"While the last generation has seen vast, unprecedented gains in living standards for most of the world's children, the fact that a forgotten minority of children have been excluded from this, through no fault of their own or those of their families, is a travesty," said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF director of Data, Research and Policy.
The World Childrens' Day celebration began at the U.N.offices in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday. They will continue later Monday at its New York City headquarters.and are expected to include UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, singer and UNICEF Ambassador Pink, Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown, cricket star Sachin Tendulkar and other celebrities.
"It's a fun day with a serious point. A day for children by children to help save children's lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfill their potential," said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF deputy executive director.