RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

Poor children left behind in rights and protection - Unicef

Children from poorest households twice more likely to die from preventable causes

In Summary
  • Unicef callS for renewed focus on ensuring full range of children's rights
  • Report says little progress for the poorest children has been made despite historic gains globally
School children flock Watamu beaches to beg from tourists
CHILDREN'S RIGHTS: School children flock Watamu beaches to beg from tourists
Image: FILE

The number of children who die before their fifth birthday largely due to preventable causes has fallen by 60 per cent in 30 years, Unicef says.

The figure dropped to around five million by last year from more than 12.5 million in 1990, according to a report by the United Nations Children's Fund.

Unicef country representative Maniza Zaman said the 60 per cent fall has not been fast enough in low and middle income countries, where children from the poorest households are still twice more likely to die from preventable causes than children from the richer households.        

Unicef is calling for a renewed focus on ensuring the full range of children's rights contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of Child.

“Children are organizing themselves, raising issues impacting their lives, communities and the future and they are starting to put solutions on the table. It’s time for the rest of us to listen to children and act boldly in support of their rights,” Zaman said.

She spoke in Nairobi on Wednesday during celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Right of the Child.

A new report says little progress for the poorest children has been made despite historic gains globally and in Kenya.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris said children from community-based schools miss out on government resources as most of it is directed to children in public schools.

“Without resources, we cannot champion any cause we want for the rights of a child and every child wants to be recognized, their rights heard and protected by the government,” she said.

 West Pokot county child ambassador Moses Kibet urged the government to implement the Constitution, create special courts for children and create a system where they can report child abuse cases.

“Every child has a right to protection. The government should protect children from online sexual exploitation and ensure children with disability are taken care of,” Kibet said.