Threats to the well-being of children
Yan, a 12-year-old girl in Anhui province, China.
Overall, nearly two out of five children have tried smoking and
more than one of four have tried drinking alcohol. There are significant
differences between younger and older children, but only a relatively
small gap between boys and girls. Incidence of smoking is highest
in Indonesia, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) (59%-66%) and
lowest in Lao PDR, Thailand and Cambodia (less than 20%). Unlike
smoking, more urban dwellers have tried alcohol with the highest
incidence in Australia (54%) and Mongolia (45%), and lowest in Cambodia,
East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.
Twenty percent of respondents reported knowing children their own
age who are addicted to smoking, ranging from under 10 per cent
in Macau, Cambodia and Lao PDR to 35 per cent in PNG and 50 per
cent in Mongolia. The figures for alcohol addiction (7% overall)
are much lower, varying from 18 per cent in PNG and 15 per cent
in the Republic of Korea to three per cent in Cambodia, Macau, Malaysia,
Myanmar and Viet Nam.
While the incidence of experimentation and perceived addiction
to glue-sniffing, taking illegal drugs or abuse of prescription
medicines is generally small, one or more of these practices was
common in some countries. Twenty-five per cent of Australian children
reported experimenting with illegal drugs, 17 per cent reported
experimenting with glue-sniffing and 11 per cent reporting addiction
to illegal drugs. In PNG, 25 percent have also experimented with
illegal drugs, 10 per cent reporting addiction.
Click below to view the responses to the
questions related to this issue:
Some of my friends have tried/have an addiction problem
with... (total) [view]
Some of my friends have tried/have an addiction problem with...
(by country) [view]
Nearly 3 out of 5 respondents reported screaming in the home (mostly
occasional) most commonly in Viet Nam (89%) and PNG (79%), and least
commonly in Macau (30%). Overall, it is more common in rural areas.
play at the Otaki Reception Centre, Cambodia.
Around 29 per cent of respondents overall reported that people
hit each other in the home, ranging from Singapore (14%), China
(17%) and Mongolia (19%) to PNG (75%). Beating as punishment was
reported by 23 per cent occurred most frequently among boys, younger
children, and those in rural areas. This figure is highest in East
Timor (53%), Cambodia (44%) and Myanmar (40%), and lowest in Australia
(1%) and Mongolia (7%).
Only five per cent of the respondents felt unsafe in their own
community during the day, although fewer felt safe in Cambodia (86%)
and Mongolia (73%). At night, however, fewer children felt safe
overall (71%), ranging from China and Myanmar (80%) to PNG and Cambodia
(less than 50%). The perception of risk is higher among younger
children and those living in urban areas.
About 1,000 children reported having been a victim of either robbery
or assault (10% for each). The highest incidence of robbery is in
Mongolia (39%), Philippines and Cambodia (27%), commonly reported
in urban areas. Reported assault is very high in Cambodia (56%),
experienced predominantly by boys.
Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this
I have been a victim of... (by demographic) [view]
I have been a victim of... (by country) [view]
This information is provided as a contribution to
discussion on important issues affecting children. UNICEF Regional
offices conducted the polls, analysis and interpretations of the
findings. For more information, please contact the regional
poll contact person directly.