Jan 31, 2012, 1:37 PM
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, recently launched the State of the World’s Children 2012 with the theme, “Children in an Urban World”.
According to the report, one billion children live in urban areas, a number that is growing rapidly. Yet it added disparities within cities reveal that many lack access to schools, health care and sanitation, despite living alongside these services. This story is part of a series highlighting the needs of these children.
‘The State of the World’s Children 2012’ (SOWC), says that almost half the world’s children now live in urban areas, and it’s calling for greater emphasis on identifying and meeting their needs.
Back home in The Gambia it is evident that we have many children equally living in the urban areas.
A good number of them could be seen loitering around the major streets, begging and not going to school.
Getting these children off the streets to ensure that they go to school and stay in the homes is a collective responsibility of all, particularly their parents and guardians.
The report once again reminds us of our responsibility to protect children, and support them to become productive citizens in future.
The State of the World’s Children 2012 presents the hardships these children face as violations of their rights, as well as impediments to fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals.
The report examines major phenomena shaping the lives of children in urban settings, including migration, economic shocks and acute disaster risks.
The report also highlighted that many children enjoy the advantages that urban life offers, including access to educational, medical and recreational facilities.
Too many, however, are denied such essentials such as clean water, electricity and health care – even though they may live close to these services.
It is, therefore, evident that children in the urban areas have their own problems, likewise their rural counterparts.
The 2012 world children’s report is challenging governments and countries to do more for their children.
We must invest in our children be it their health, education and overall well-being, for them to become great assets to the nation.