56 Million children face death

56 Million children face death

Child in Ethiopia © Wolfgang Radtke (KNA)

Almost 30 years after the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force, millions of children are still malnourished. A prognosis now paints a bleak picture: if nothing changes, many of them face starvation by 2030.

Worldwide, some 56 million children under the age of five face death from hunger, violent conflict and preventable diseases by 2030, according to a forecast. A total of 150 million girls and boys are chronically malnourished and 50 million are acutely malnourished, according to the German government's answer to a small question from the Green Party, which is available to Evangelischer Pressedienst (epd).

The parliamentary group had inquired about the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The forecast was first reported by the "Saarbrucker Zeitung" (Monday).

Malnutrition and armed conflict

In its response, the German government refers to figures from the children's aid organization Unicef, the World Food Program and the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition to the malnutrition of many children, he said, the fate of children in armed conflicts is a major challenge. Children are "particularly vulnerable to violence and systematic violations of international humanitarian law," the document said. These included, among other things, recruitment as child soldiers or use as human shields.

More than two-thirds of all boys and girls worldwide also experience various forms of violence, the statement continued. One-third of all victims of human trafficking are reportedly children, a majority of them girls. One in ten girls worldwide experiences sexual violence. Equal access to education is also often not given.

Consequences of climate change

In the future, according to the federal government, the consequences of climate change will be particularly threatening for children. Half a billion children live in regions at high risk of flooding, 115 million live in regions with tropical storms and 160 million live in extreme drought, he said. One quarter of all deaths of children under five years of age are due to pollution, it said.

To improve health conditions for children and mothers, Germany paid a total of 572 million euros in 2017, it said. Recipients had been bilateral and multilateral organizations.

The Greens' human rights expert, Kai Gehring, stressed that children's lives worldwide should finally be better protected and placed at the center of German foreign policy. "It blatantly contradicts all humanitarian goals and children's rights to aggravate the situation of children through German arms exports," said the Green politician. The federal government should better invest the billions of dollars discussed for war weapons in the survival and future chances of children, he said.

Entitled to special care and support

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted on 20. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in November 1989. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have a right to special care and support, to promotion and protection, to an upbringing that is free of violence and protects them, to education and training, to an upbringing as democratic inhabitants and to their appropriate participation in political and social life.

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