Half of the general population in Kyrgyzstan are children.
Child poverty remains a serious issue in Kyrgyzstan and concerns every second child lives. Poor children are deprived of access to quality public services of pre-school and school education, protection and health care, as well as malnutrition and violation of child right to harmonious and full development in early childhood. Poor children live mainly in rural areas, from the southern regions of the country, from families of three and more children and from families with no employed adults or with only one working adult.
Child mortality rates remain high: 33 of 1,000 infants do not reach their first year, and 38 of 1,000 do not reach their five years. (2010).
Most children in Kyrgyzstan enter school without the required life skills and basic knowledge for their age, and therefore are unprepared to cope with the structured school environment. About 15 per cent of all children have access to pre-school activities, compared to 35 per cent in 1990. Many children do not have any books at home. The problem is further complicated by parents lacking the knowledge and skills for interacting effectively with their children in order to boost their child’s intellectual, cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.
Still many children are separated from their families and are therefore deprived from the care of their parents or close relatives. Over 11,000 children live in residential care institutions, even though most of them have one or both parents.
Exploitation, abuse and violence are considered to be widespread as a result of the increasing number of dysfunctional families and alcohol and substance abuse.