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‘The State of the World’s Children 2006: Excluded and Invisible’ launched in London

© UNICEF/2005
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, with Guriya Khatoon at the launch of ‘The State of the World’s Children 2006' in London

LONDON, UK, 14 December 2005 – ‘The State of the World’s Children 2006: Excluded and Invisible’is a major report that explores the causes of child exclusion and abuse. Launching the report in London, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said millions of children disappear from view when trafficked or forced to work in domestic servitude. Other children, such as street children, live in plain sight but are excluded from fundamental services and protections. Not only do these children endure abuse, but most get excluded from school, healthcare and other vital services. 

“Meeting the Millennium Development Goals depends on reaching vulnerable children throughout the developing world,” Ms. Veneman said. “There cannot be lasting progress if we continue to overlook the children most in need – the poorest and most vulnerable, the exploited and the abused.”
“To ensure that children are protected, the abuse and exploitation of children must be brought to light and those who violate children brought to justice.” 

 “Those who harm children rob them of opportunities to grow up safe, healthy and with dignity,” Veneman said. “To ensure that children are protected, the abuse and exploitation of children must be brought to light and those who violate children brought to justice.”

Participating in the launch was fourteen-year old Guriya Khatoon from the state of Bihar in India. The eldest of six children from the remote village of Karamdih in rural Bihar, Guriya’s biggest battle in life has been to get an education. With girls in her impoverished Muslim community excluded from a formal education and with her father not earning, she has had to overcome many obstacles in her quest for learning. Guriya knew she had to do more than fetch water and work in the fields. Despite an eight kilometre walk each day, she now attends school, where she also learns karate. That she does so is thanks in part to her enrolment at a local education centre, the Mahila Shiksha Kendra. Run jointly by the government and UNICEF, it takes adolescent girls who have been denied an education and gives them intensive instruction for up to nine months to get them into the school system.  For the girls who attend the rigorous lessons, the course offers not so much a second chance, but the chance they never had to begin with. “I want other girls to know that you have to face all your challenges in life, but most of all get an education. Because without it, you can’t change your life – or your world,” says Guriya.

The State of the World’s Children is UNICEF’s annual flagship publication. It is the most comprehensive survey of global trends affecting children and provides the most thorough almanac of up-to-date statistical data on children. Data tables from the report are fully searchable at www.unicef.org/sowc06.

 

 

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