I have recently had the opportunity to read the latest Save the Children report on childhoods “The many faces of exclusion”. The new report highlights how almost half (1.2 billion) of the children on this planet are at risk of early death, malnutrition, poor education, work exploitation or forced marriage.
In a Europe that is currently torn by the discussion on migration and by “fans” (from both sides) supporting this or that view (with no realistic solutions), Save the Children reminded us how tragic the reality for millions of children across the world is.
Through the End of Childhood Index the NGO also compares the latest data for 175 countries and assesses where the most and fewest children are missing out on childhood. Once more, according to the report, Niger is the riskiest country for children in the world, followed by Mali, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. On the other hand, the best country for children to grow up in is Singapore, followed by Slovenia and Norway. More in general, in the EU, things don’t look too good. According to Eurostat in 2016, 24.8 million children were at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
Beyond the shocking figures, two sections of the report struck me most: the one in which is highlighted that de facto malnutrition and diseases kill more children than bombs in war zones and the one in which is explained how little girls suffer twice as much as little boys the effects of poverty and social exclusion.
These children see their childhood stolen every day by an unfair globalized system that seems to benefit from the poverty conditions of millions of people around the world. Perhaps, the time has come not only for Governments to edit their agendas’ priorities but also for faith-based organizations to speak up and promote fairer consumption patterns.
Some of our members are already working on these ethical themes towards a more sustainable society and more are following their path. From our side, we will make sure their voice (and action) will be heard at European level and that their work will be supported and helped by other sister organisations within the network.
Have a nice weekend,