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Children

Summary

There are an estimated 153 million children around the world who have lost one or both parents.1 Millions more children have been abandoned or displaced, with exact figures unknown. Over 5,700 children are orphaned daily, and more than 8 million orphaned children live in institutional care rather than with a family or in a foster home.2 In the United States alone, nearly half a million — 437,465 — children were in the foster care system in 2017. In that same year, 250,248 children left the foster care system, and 273,539 entered the system. Of those children, 117,794 were awaiting adoption.3 According to UNICEF, 6 in every 10 children worldwide is subjected to physical punishment by their caregiver on a regular basis, totalling almost one billion children from ages 2 to 14.4 Twenty five percent of adults report they were physically abused as children, and an estimated 41,000 children under the age of 15 die as victims of a homicide each year. Approximately 90 percent of these child homicide victims are from middle or low income nations.5 An estimated 22,000 child laborers are killed in industries such as mining, construction, manufacturing, prostitution and agriculture each year.6 Along with immediate physical dangers in exposure to toxins and dangerous machinery, child laborers also face long-term health risks like cancer, infertility and chronic pain,7 while also being less likely to attend school or have access to proper nutrition.8 Each year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 become married. Today, more than 650 million women and 150 million men are currently living with the consequences of a marriage that took place when they were children.9 Child marriages pose threats to children’s health, education and vocation, creating issues during pregnancy and childbirth and rendering the girls vulnerable to domestic abuse.10 While the majority of nations have laws in place to prevent the marriage of children, 93 countries allow girls under the age of 18 to marry with parental consent.11 Show References
1 http://www.sos-usa.org/our-impact/childrens-statistics 2 Ibid 3 https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Hidden_in_plain_sight_statistical_analysis_Summary_EN_2_Sept_2014.pdf 4 https://www.compassion.com/poverty/child-abuse.htm 5 https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport24.pdf 6 http://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/WorstFormsofChildLabour/Hazardouschildlabour/lang--en/index.htm 7 http://www.who.int/occupational_health/topics/childlabour/en/ 8 http://www.unicef.org/media/media_69610.html 9 https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/about-child-marriage/ 10 https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/what-is-the-impact/ 11 https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage-law/#do-all-countries-have-a-minimum-age-of-marriage
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Explore Children Subcases

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Adolescent Pregnancy
Bullying
Child Abuse
Child Labor
Child Marriage
Child Soldiers
Child Trafficking
Orphans and Vulnerable Children
Children/Youth Other
Foster Care
Annually, approximately 21 million girls ages 15 to 19 become pregnant worldwide. Just 16 million of those 21 million give birth. Additionally, 2.5 million girls younger than 15 become pregnant in developing nations annually — meaning that, in total, 11 percent of all births involve teenage mothers.1 Girls who give birth under the age of 15 are twice as likely to die from complications than other women, and face a much higher risk of obstetric fistula, the tearing of the birth canal or vaginal and rectal areas.2 Girls with obstetric fistula are often ostracized by their families and communities due to the odor from their incontinence or their inability to work or bear children, leading to many women being divorced and left vulnerable.3 Complications with pregnancy Read More and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls ages 15 to 19, causing 70,000 deaths each year.4,5 Additionally, the risk of infant death is 60 percent greater if the infant's mother is under the age of 18 when she gives birth than if she is over the age of 19.6 Adolescent pregnancy also has negative educational and economic implications for both young girls and their communities, leaving adolescent mothers with little education and few vocational skills, reducing their opportunities for finding a job or supporting themselves or their children.7 Show Less
One in every three students between 13 and 15 is said to experience bullying on a regular basis.1 Child Helpline International reports receiving over 4 million calls from children reporting bullying, abuse and violence in the last decade.2 Cyberbullying is becoming a more prevalent form of bullying with the spread of technology. Approximately 10 percent of parents around the world report that their child has been the victim of cyberbullying.3 Based on the children who contact the Child Helpline International hotlines, around nine in ten instances of bullying take place in school.4 However, perpetrators are not limited to student peers; one in three cases of bullying in schools was perpetrated by an adult or teacher.5 Male teachers were responsible for twice as many instances of bullying Read More as female teachers.6 Victims of bullying can experience depression, anxiety, substance abuse, limited social functioning and poor academic performance.7 Additionally, there are strong correlations between bullying and mental illness, with children who report being bullied frequently being at a greater risk for suicidal behavior.8 Show Less
In the United States alone, 683,000 children were neglected or abused in 2015, of which 75 percent were neglected and 25 percent were physically abused. Approximately, 1,670 children died as a result of abuse or neglect.1 According to UNICEF, 6 in every 10 children worldwide is subjected to physical punishment by their caregiver on a regular basis, totalling almost one billion children from ages 2 to 14.2 Twenty five percent of adults report they were physically abused as children, and an estimated 41,000 children under the age of 15 die as victims of a homicide each year. Approximately 90 percent of these child homicide victims are from middle or low income nations.3 In countries such as India, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Zambia and Tanzania where child marriage is Read More common, 70 percent of the young women who have been physically abused stated that their partner was the one carrying out the violence.4 One third of girls ages 15 to 19 report physical, emotional or sexual abuse at the hand of a husband or intimate partner.5 Adolescent boys also experiences these forms of abuse, but are two times less likely than young women to have been subjected to intimate partner violence. Nearly half of young women worldwide — almost 126 million — believe it is acceptable for a husband to strike his wife.6 Female genital mutilation is a particular threat to young girls around the world, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 125 million women and girls have undergone FGM.7 Young women who undergo FGM face extreme pain, shock, hemorrhaging, tetanus or sepsis immediately following the operation, and face long-term consequences such as urinary tract infections, infertility, pain during intercourse, an increased risk of childbirth complications and death, and often require later surgeries.8 Show Less
Over 70 million children ages 5-17 are engaged in some sort of hazardous labor today, with over half of that population being under 14 years old.1 Africa is the continent with highest number of children involved in some sort of labor, with Asia and the Pacific close behind.2 Agriculture is the largest sector that employs children, accounting for 59 percent of the world’s child laborers.3 However, the services sector employs 54 million children, and the industry sector accounts for 12 another million.4 Boys are at a greater risk of becoming child laborers than girls, yet girls are more likely to be involved in household work or in the commercial sex industry.5 An estimated 22,000 child laborers are killed in industries such as mining, construction, manufacturing, prostitution Read More and agriculture each year.6 Along with immediate physical dangers in exposure to toxins and dangerous machinery, child laborers also face long-term health risks like cancer, infertility and chronic pain,7 while also being less likely to attend school or have access to proper nutrition.8 Show Less
Each year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 become married. Today, more than 650 million women and 150 million men are currently living with the consequences of a marriage that took place when they were children.1 Child marriages pose threats to children’s health, education and vocation, creating issues during pregnancy and childbirth and rendering the girls vulnerable to domestic abuse.2 Niger has the highest rate of child marriage, with 76 percent of its 20-24 year old women having been married before the age of 18. 68 percent of women in the Central African Republic report having been married as a child, with 67 percent of women reporting the same in Chad.3 Child marriage has roots in gender inequality, particularly in developing nations,4 and the Read More economic effects of a woman dropping out of school to start at a family — at a young age, not being able to contribute to her family’s income — perpetuates the cycle of poverty.5 While the majority of nations have laws in place to prevent the marriage of children, 93 countries allow girls under the age of 18 to marry with parental consent.6 Show Less
As of spring of 2018, 152 of the 177 states enlisting armed forces worldwide have ratified OPAC, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, a United Nations resolution to end the military enlistment of children.1 Often the targeted children are from underdeveloped and socioeconomically deprived regions.2 In South Sudan alone there are estimated to be 19,000 child soldiers in armed forces,3 but the specific number of children conscripted as soldiers worldwide is unknown.4 Since 2016, a minimum of 18 different conflicts around the world have involved child soldiers.5 According to the Human Rights Watch, many of the children enlist under the illusion that by volunteering or complying they will guarantee social Read More or economic security for both them and their family.6 Girls are particularly susceptible to sexual exploitation in some conflict zones. Other children are asked to perform suicide missions, torture and execute friends and family, or be messengers, servants or guards.7 Militant groups and armed forces in Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, Iraq, the Philippines, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Burma, Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Somalia and Thailand are all reported to have enlisted child soldiers in recent conflicts.8 Show Less
The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime defines human trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”1 Trafficking occurs for a number of reasons, some of which are prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery and organ harvesting.2 Coercion, abduction, fraud and deception are used to recruit, transfer, house or receive victims.3 Vulnerable populations come from all over the world, yet are typically moving from Read More less developed nations to more developed nations.4 Children make up 28 percent of trafficking victims worldwide, yet, in Sub-Saharan Africa, they account for 62 percent of victims, and in Central America and the Caribbean, they make up 64 percent.5 Twenty percent of victims are young girls, and 8 percent are boys. Girls are often trafficked for marriage or sexual servitude while boys are often forced into exploitative, intense labor like mining or combat.6 Sex trafficking — on a whole — is a $99 billion industry worldwide, and the sexual exploitation of over a million children accounts for 20 percent of that profit. In the United States alone, children are purchased for sexual exploitation 2.5 million times a year. Between 8 and 10,000 children ages 13–17 in the United States are in the commercial sex industry.7 To date, 158 nations have criminalized human trafficking, yet the rate of convictions for human trafficking offenders is low.8 Show Less
There are an estimated 153 million children around the world who have lost one or both parents.1 Millions more children have been abandoned or displaced, with exact figures unknown. Over 5,700 children are orphaned daily, and more than 8 million orphaned children live in institutional care rather than with a family or in a foster home.2 Asia is home to the largest number of orphaned children — approximately 60 million.3 The 8 million orphaned or abandoned children living in state-run institutions are at risk for a variety of negative emotional, mental and physical consequences.4 Through the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, researchers found that orphans placed in institutional care had low speech, language and social capabilities, and developed attachment disorders.5 Additionally, studies of nearly 4,000 children in Read More 19 countries found that children raised in orphanages had lower IQs than children raised in a home6 and often had a lack of emotional control.7 Show Less
Children around the world face many threats to their wellbeing and safety, including prostitution, malnutrition, disease, child marriage, child labor, abuse, and poverty. Children are regularly trafficked in 161 countries around the world.1 The United States Justice Department recently conducted a study which revealed that child sex trafficking generates nearly $32 billion worldwide each year.2 Additionally, the U.S. State Department estimates that over one million children are exploited in the global sex trade annually.3 Around the world, over 215 million children are forcibly employed in the workforce; many of these children work full-time, and many are involved in vocations that are physically harmful and illegal, such as drug production, prostitution, and armed conflict.4 Children between the ages of five and 17 who are employed often do Read More not attend school and receive little to no proper nutrition and health care.5 Malnutrition accounts for nearly 50% of all child deaths worldwide and over 150 million children in developing countries suffer from malnourishment6 Malnutrition weakens a child’s immune system and physical reliance, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and disease and decreasing their learning ability and energy levels.7 Over one-third of girls are married before age 18 world wide, and one in nine girls are married before age 15.8 Child marriage is detrimental to the health of young girls in a variety of ways. Girls under age 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women above age 209 Additionally, girls married before age 18 are more likely to experience domestic abuse or contract HIV/Aids from their older husbands.10 Every year, more than 14 million girls are married before their 18th birthdays.11 Nearly 3.4 million children worldwide are currently infected with HIV/Aids.12Diarrheal diseases are the second leading cause of death for children under age five, and diarrhea kills an estimated 760,000 children across the world annually.13Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds and is responsible for the deaths of one million children each year.14 Pertussis, or whooping cough, kills nearly 300,000 children each year, and pneumonia kills an estimated 500,000 children annually.15 A 2013 World Bank analysis revealed that over 400 million children live in extreme poverty around the world.16 Likewise, UNICEF has estimated that poverty kills over 22,000 children each year.17 Due to poverty, over 72 million primary school aged children were not enrolled in school or receiving an education.18 Worldwide, children account for one-third of all people living in poverty.19 Children are particularly vulnerable to abuse, and 80%-90% of the world’s children suffer from physical abuse in their homes.20 The World Health Organization estimates that 40 million children under the age of 15 are subject to abuse each year.21 Additionally, nearly 150 countries still have not outlawed the corporal punishment of children.22 1 http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/international-trafficking 2 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/25/sex-trafficking-in-the-us_n_5621481.html 3 http://www.ungift.org/knowledgehub/en/about/trafficking-of-children.html 4 http://www.un.org/en/events/childlabourday/background.shtml 5 Ibid 6 http://www.unicef.org/specialsession/about/sgreport-pdf/02_ChildMalnutrition_D7341Insert_English.pdf 7 Ibid 8 http://www.icrw.org/child-marriage-facts-and-figures 9 Ibid 10 Ibid 11 http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/ 12 http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6234243/k.C392/HIVAIDS.htm 13 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs330/en/ 14 Ibid 15 Ibid 16 http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/10/10/report-finds-400-million-children-living-extreme-poverty 17 http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats 18 Ibid 19 http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/10/10/report-finds-400-million-children-living-extreme-poverty 20 http://www.internationalcap.org/abuse_statistics.html 21 Ibid 22 Ibid Show Less
There are an estimated 153 million children around the world who have lost one or both parents.1 Millions more children have been abandoned or displaced, with exact figures unknown. Over 5,700 children are orphaned daily, and more than 8 million orphaned children live in institutional care rather than with a family or in a foster home.2 In the United States alone, nearly half a million — 437,465 — children were in the foster care system in 2017. In that same year, 250,248 children left the foster care system, and 273,539 entered the system. Of those children, 117,794 were awaiting adoption.3 The average age of a child in the foster care system in the United States is 8.5 years.4 In over 50 percent of these children’s Read More cases, the objective is to reunite the child with their original family. However, for just over a quarter of all children in the foster care system, the goal is adoption.5 Show Less

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