[Marxism] How Capitalism Destroys the Young

M. Junaid Alam mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Thu Dec 9 12:56:01 MST 2004

" The amount of poverty and suffering required for the emergence of a
Rockefeller, and the amount of depravity that the accumulation of a
fortune of such magnitude entails, are left out of the picture, and it
is not always possible to make the people in general see this."

-Ernesto "Che" Guevara


  Half of kids suffer war, poverty, AIDS

      UNICEF report blames governments for permanent damage

*LONDON, England (AP) -- More than half the world's children are
suffering the effects of poverty, war and HIV/AIDS, denying them a
healthy and safe childhood, UNICEF's annual report said Thursday.*

The United Nations children's fund report on The State of the World's
Children found more than 1 billion children were growing up hungry and
unhealthy, schools had become targets for warring parties and whole
villages were being killed off by AIDS.

A failure by governments around the world to live up to standards
outlined in 1989's Convention on the Rights of the Child caused
permanent damage to children and blocked progress toward human rights
and economic advancement, the report said.

"Too many governments are making informed, deliberate choices that
actually hurt childhood," UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy said.

A day before the report's release, an editorial published in The Lancet,
the respected British medical journal, accused Bellamy of neglecting
issues of child survival while emphasizing the rights of children.

"A preoccupation with rights ignores the fact that children will have no
opportunity for development at all unless they survive," said the
journal's editor, Richard Horton. "Child survival must sit at the core
of UNICEF's advocacy and country work. Currently, and shamefully, it
does not."

UNICEF spokesman Alfred Ironside said Horton ignored progress made on
child survival rates.

"Globally child deaths have fallen by 18 percent since 1990," Ironside
said in London.

In his foreword to the report, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said
poverty denied children dignity and endangered their lives, conflict
robbed them of a secure family life and HIV/AIDS killed parents,
teachers, doctors and children themselves.

Compiled by UNICEF and researchers at the London School of Economics and
Bristol University, the report found more than half the children in
developing countries lived in poverty without access to basic goods and

It also said:

    * One in six children was severely hungry.
    * One in seven had no access to health care.
    * One in five had no safe water.
    * One in three had no toilet or sanitation facilities at home.

      The report found 640 million children did not have adequate
      shelter; 300 million had no access to information such as TV,
      radio or newspapers and 140 million children, the majority of them
      girls, had never been to school.

      Poverty was not confined to developing countries, the report said,
      as the proportion of children living in low-income households in
      11 of 15 industrialized nations rose in the past decade.

      More than 10 million child deaths were recorded in 2003, with an
      estimated 29,158 children under 5 dying from mostly preventable
      causes everyday.

      UNICEF reported conflict around the world had seriously injured or
      permanently disabled millions of children, while millions more
      endured sexual violence, trauma, hunger and disease caused by wars.

      Nearly half of the 3.6 million people killed in conflict during
      the 1990s were children and around 20 million children were forced
      from their homes and communities by fighting.

      UNICEF said almost half a million children under 15 died of AIDS
      in 2003, while another 630,000 children were infected with HIV.

      By 2003 some 2.1 million children under 15 were living with
      HIV/AIDS, most of whom were infected during pregnancy, birth or
      through breast-feeding.

      From 2001 to 2003, the number of children who had lost one or both
      parents to AIDS rose from 11.5 million to 15 million and around 80
      percent of those were living in sub-Saharan Africa.

      The UNICEF report said the world had the capacity to reduce
      poverty, conflict and HIV/AIDS and improve the plight of the
      world's children.

      It said Millennium Development Goals, which aim to improve the
      world through human development by 2015 and were agreed to by the
      U.N.'s 191 member states in 2000, could be achieved at an annual
      cost of $40-$70 billion. In comparison, world spending on military
      in 2003 was $956 billion.

      Bellamy said the quality of a child's life depended on decisions
      made by the global community and the world's governments.

      "We must make those decisions wisely and with children's best
      interests in mind. If we fail to secure childhood, we fail to
      reach our larger, global goals for human rights and economic
      development," she said.

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