Children Make Up Half the World’s Refugees

Children refugees have increased to 50 million children worldwide with over 75% of them from ten countries. Syria and Afghanistan alone contribute to half of all children refugees under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees according to UNICEF. Over 70% of children in Syria alone show signs of toxic stress due to conflict-related exposures, contributing to the tragedy of what will become a lost generation of Syrians. Refugee children are at high risk for recruitment, work abuse, violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, and lives of poverty. UNICEF is calling for the international community to uphold the Convention of the Rights of the Child in assisting the migrant child crisis.

— source projectcensored.org

USA has no right to talk about Terrorism

Accidental shootings kill a child every other day

Using information collected by the Gun Violence Archive, a nonpartisan research group, news reports and public sources, the media outlets spent six months analyzing the circumstances of every death and injury from accidental shootings involving children ages 17 and younger from Jan. 1, 2014, to June 30 of this year — more than 1,000 incidents in all.

— source bigstory.ap.org

No other country kills their own kids in this scale.

1 in 5 young people lose sleep over social media

1 in 5 young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research published today in the Journal of Youth Studies. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing. girls much more likely to access their social media accounts during the night than boys.

— source alphagalileo.org

35 Palestinian children were killed by IOF in 2016

The Defense for Children International (DCI) – Palestine Branch said that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed 35 Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem in 2016.

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director at the Palestine section of the DCI, told the Quds Press news agency that 2016 recorded the highest number of murders committed by the IOF against Palestinian children in the West Bank and Jerusalem in 12 years, pointing out that the number of children killed in 2015 in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem had reached 26.

— source english.palinfo.com

300 million children breathing toxic air – UNICEF report

Almost one in seven of the world’s children, 300 million, live in areas with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution – six or more times higher than international guidelines – reveals a new UNICEF report.

Clear the Air for Children uses satellite imagery to show for the first time how many children are exposed to outdoor pollution that exceeds global guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), and where they live across the globe.

The findings come a week ahead of the COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco, where UNICEF is calling on world leaders to take urgent action to cut air pollution in their countries.

“Air pollution is a major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under five every year – and it threatens the lives and futures of millions more every day,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “Pollutants don’t only harm children’s developing lungs – they can actually cross the blood-brain barrier and permanently damage their developing brains – and, thus, their futures. No society can afford to ignore air pollution.”

The satellite imagery confirms that around 2 billion children live in areas where outdoor air pollution, caused by factors such as vehicle emissions, heavy use of fossil fuels, dust and burning of waste, exceeds minimum air quality guidelines set by the World Health Organization. South Asia has the largest number of children living in these areas, at 620 million, with Africa following at 520 million children. The East Asia and Pacific region has 450 million children living in areas that exceed guideline limits.

The study also examines the heavy toll of indoor pollution, commonly caused by use of fuels like coal and wood for cooking and heating, which mostly affects children in low-income, rural areas.

Together, outdoor and indoor air pollution are directly linked to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases that account for almost one in 10 under-five deaths, making air pollution one of the leading dangers to children’s health.

Children are more susceptible than adults to both indoor and outdoor air pollution as their lungs, brains and immune systems are still developing and their respiratory tracts are more permeable. Young children also breathe faster than adults, and take in more air relative to their body weight. The most disadvantaged, who already tend to have poorer health and inadequate access to health services, are the most vulnerable to the illnesses caused by polluted air.

UNICEF is asking world leaders attending COP 22 to take four urgent steps in their countries to protect children from air pollution.

Reduce pollution: All countries should work to meet WHO global air quality guidelines to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children. To achieve this, governments should adopt such measures as cutting back on fossil fuel combustion and investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
Increase children’s access to healthcare: Investing in children’s overall healthcare – including immunisation campaigns and improving knowledge, community management and numbers seeking care for pneumonia (a leading killer of children under five) – will improve their resilience to air pollution and their ability to recover from diseases and conditions linked to it.
Minimize children’s exposure: Sources of pollution such as factories should not be located within the vicinity of schools and playgrounds. Better waste management can reduce the amount of waste that is burned within communities. Cleaner cookstoves can help improve air quality within homes. Reducing air pollution overall can help lower children’s exposure.
Monitor air pollution: Better monitoring has been proven to help children, youth, families and communities to reduce their exposure to air pollution, become more informed about its causes, and advocate for changes that make the air safer to breathe.

“We protect our children when we protect the quality of our air. Both are central to our future,” Lake said.

UNICEF is advocating for lower levels of air pollution, while also working on the ground to protect children from its effects. For example, the children’s organisation backs the development, distribution and use of cleaner cookstoves in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and other countries, and works through some of its country programmes to reduce the impact of outdoor air pollution on children’s health. It also supports programmes to increase children’s access to quality healthcare and to vaccinate them against conditions like pneumonia.

— source unicef.org

Two billion children exposed to high levels of air pollution: UNICEF

At least 300 million children around the world live in regions that experience extreme air pollution, and many of these children are living in poverty and at heightened risk from conflicts, crises and impact of climate change. According to the UNICEF study—the first of its kind study that analysed satellite data—toxic fumes in these regions are more than six times the international guidelines. Moreover, about 90 per cent of the world’s children—two billion—live in places where outdoor air pollution far exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) limits. In fact, nine out of 10 people in the world live in places where air quality levels breach WHO safe limits.

Every year, about 600,000 children under the age of five die from diseases linked to indoor and outdoor air pollution. The number of child deaths is more than the casualties caused by malaria and HIV/AIDS combined. Children are far more vulnerable to air pollution because they breathe more rapidly than adults. The cell layer in their lungs is also more permeable to pollutant particles that can cross the blood-brain barrier causing permanent harm to cognitive development and. Air pollution also affects the unborn as the particles inhaled by pregnant mothers can cross the placental barrier (also known as “leakiest barrier”), thus injuring fetuses.

Over three million people a year (six people very minute) die due to outdoor air pollution. It is likely to double by 2050. Similarly, indoor air pollution, mainly from wood or dung stoves, causes three million deaths a year.

Of the 300 million exposed to extreme levels of pollution (six times over WHO limits), 220 million live in South Asia, especially India, which is home to many of the world’s most polluted cities. South Asia (620 million) has the largest number of children living in areas where air pollution exceeds WHO limits. Africa is a close second with 520 million children at risk. The East Asia and Pacific region has 450 million children living in such areas.

Children in developing countries are more vulnerable to air pollution as they have little resistance due to poor nutrition and insufficient health care. Lack of access to clean water, adequate sanitation and hygiene makes cases of respiratory infections like pneumonia more common and potentially more deadly.

Children in developing countries are more vulnerable to air pollution as they have little resistance due to poor nutrition. Credit: UNICEF

According to the report, Bangladesh has one of the largest burdens of child mortality linked to indoor air pollution. Over 8,500 children die each year due to diseases caused by household air pollution (HAP) and 89 per cent of households use solid fuel—wood, agricultural waste and cow dung—for cooking and heating. Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, experiences worst air pollution during the harsh and prolonged winters. At times, air quality in the city gets worse than Beijing and Delhi.

In Europe, 120 million children live in areas where outdoor air pollution exceeds WHO limits and 20 million children are exposed to pollution level that is more than double the limit.

Four urgent steps

The UNICEF is urging world leaders attending COP 22 in November to reduce air pollution by cutting down fossil fuel burning in power plants and vehicles. According to the World Bank estimates, the welfare losses from air pollution are more than $5 trillion a year.

Children are far more vulnerable to air pollution because they breathe more rapidly than adults. Credit: UNICEF

The report calls for taking four urgent actions to protect children from air pollution.

Reduce pollution: Governments should make greater investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to meet WHO global air quality guidelines to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children.

Increase access to healthcare: Investing in children’s healthcare, including immunisation campaigns and community awareness will improve their resilience to air pollution and their ability to recover from diseases and conditions linked to it.

Minimise children’s exposure: Sources of pollution like factories should be located away from schools and playgrounds. Preventing waste burning within communities is also recommended. Cleaner cooking stoves can help improve air quality within homes.

Monitor air pollution: Better monitoring helps children, families and communities to reduce their exposure to air pollution as they become more informed about its causes.

— source downtoearth.org.in