Children are God’s gift to mankind, and parents need to take good care of their children if they want to see them grow up as civilized, law abiding citizens. Proper upbringing, a balanced lifestyle and a nurturing environment are very necessary for a child to develop good etiquette. Sadly, some countries still don’t make it into the good books as far as child upbringing is concerned.
Studies have revealed that children are found to be safe and happy in developed countries like the United States, Canada, Norway and Switzerland. They have access to quality education and proper facilities. And in these countries, the government allots huge funds to ensure a better childhood for every kid. But sadly, this is not prevalent in other countries.
The condition of children is pathetic in many countries around the globe and child care is an alien term in such places! Children do not have access to education, nutritious food and health care. Infant mortality, child labor, child sexual exploitation and many other evil practices have ruined the lives of children. Here, we have put together a list of 15 worst countries for kids to grow up in. Make sure that you think twice before relocating yourself to these countries.
Brazil has never been successful in creating a safe environment for children. Children are victims of violence over there. A survey conducted by Know Violence has revealed that 40% of respondents were feeling unsafe in their schools and communities, 25% of respondents have faced physical abuse and 63% of respondents suffered due to corporal punishment.
There are instances of children quitting school because they are scared of attacks. Their hopes for a better future become weak when they reach their teenage years. Child sex tourism is the major problem in Brazil; kids are taken from their family, raped and murdered. Pimps purchase kids from poor families and are pushed to the gates of hell – Prostitution. Addictions to drugs and alcohol are induced. Child sex tourism reached its peak during the Rio Olympics season and police rescued many children from sex tourism rackets. Child trafficking is a major concern here.
The second most populated country in the world has been encountering various issues associated with child care. Thousands of children who live in the slum areas of major cities like Mumbai and Delhi are prone to diseases and child abuse. In terms of education, India has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. 52 out of 1000 children die before turning 5 years old. Parents in India can earn an average of $4 a day.
Kids are engaged in hazardous occupations like mining and making fireworks because poor Indian families think that each child is an added income, a much needed help for the family’s survival. The infant mortality rate is high here due to preventable and treatable diseases which can’t be treated in time. Social evils like child marriage and female genocide have ruined the beautiful childhood of many kids. And in some places, kids were beheaded in human sacrifice rituals, a sad story depicting the cruel face of religion.
13. North Korea
North Korea is making efforts to strengthen its military power, but it has failed to recognize the needs of children, who are their future. Chronic food insecurity is also prevalent here which renders kids malnourished. Every kid does not have access to quality sanitation and hygiene services, nearly 200,000 children are suffering due to malnutrition. And on top of it, natural disasters are making conditions worse. Children, pregnant women and lactating mothers become easy victims of waterborne diseases, especially diarrhea. Kids are recruited for heavy works, forced labor is not new for North Korean kids.
Some leaked pictures have shown kids getting military training in schools. Orphanages too don’t have great facilities for kids. The government wants kids to know the war history of North Korea. Kids are taught the North Korean version of history which does not paint a good picture about foreign countries. So the kids grow up with bias in their blood. What good would they contribute to the concept of world unity and stability? A sad story.
Afghanistan is not at all a safe country for children. It has been struggling with terrorist activities and people don’t have good jobs without which there is no stable source of income. Buying food becomes challenging in some seasons. A couple of years ago, a woman had to sell her baby to buy firewood in a shocking incident! It is a male-centric society here and education is an impossible dream for girls.
Religious beliefs and practices curtail the freedom of little girls. The child mortality rate is 97 per 1000. Since the country is not able to provide good healthcare for pregnant women, low birth weight in babies is an alarming issue. UNICEF has also considered Afghanistan as one of the most dangerous places for women to have babies, there is a need for institutional delivery in order to prevent stillbirth – the biggest curse which scars a mother’s heart for life.
The conflict between the Pakistani government and armed militant groups have affected the lives of children. The most brutal and hideous incident that rocked the world happened here in Pakistan on the 16th of December, 2014. Terrorists attacked the Army Public School in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar where the group brutally killed the school staff and 132 children. Kids who survived narrated horrifying stories to the media. They revealed that the terrorists killed their teachers and friends in front of them.
The well-known activist for female education and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai had received life threats from terrorist groups when she was in Pakistan, a little girl back then. In 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban militant. Terrorist groups prevent kids from reaching school. In addition to this, communicable disease and malnutrition are also hindering the lives of these kids.
Niger is one of the hardest places on earth to be a child. The child mortality rate is 104 per 1000 live births and more than 1 million children have had to quit school due to the violence and attacks against civilian populations which took place in 2005. Even kids here are involved in suicide attacks! The country has recorded the highest fertility rate in the world, but half of the population is under the age 15.
An Islamic extremist group has been destroying the social order in Niger and it has displaced children, closed schools and robbed people. Children are separated from their parents for supporting militant activities. Families are living in slums with their young kids without basic necessities like nutritious food, toilets and safe drinking water. Hospitals do not have enough doctors and nurses to serve patients and kids are forced to work in the farms during harvesting season. A perfect place for a child to live a life of hell.
Thailand is a paradise for honeymooners, but seriously not for kids. 13 out of 1000 children bid their goodbyes to earth before their 5th birthday here. Children are used for sex tourism, and many such kids are diagnosed with AIDS. As per the information released by the Human Rights Watch, Thailand has kept thousands of migrant children in detention and these poor souls have gone through tremendous physical and emotional torture.
There are nearly 375,000 migrant children in Thailand whose parents are migrant workers from countries like Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Syria and other neighboring countries. Rather than protecting the rights of such migrant kids, Thailand exploits them. Domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual abuse are the causes for the pathetic conditions in which Thai kids live.
Life in Angola is not so easy and definitely not child’s play. A huge percentage of Angola’s population is living below the poverty line and the infant mortality rate is 260 per 1,000. This shocking fact can be simply put that more than one child in four dies instantly and many of them die before attaining the age of 5. Only half of the population has access to clean drinking water whereas the rest of the populace lives off of poor quality drinking water. Angola has been a war ridden country in the past.
Its civil war came to an end in 2002 and citizens were badly affected by the outcomes of war. Basic infrastructure like schools and healthcare centers were destroyed, school teachers never got a chance to undergo training. Meanwhile, the deadly disease Polio played havoc with the lives of more than 1,000 people. UNICEF is consistently making efforts to protect the kids from AIDS but changes take time to bring some effect.
How can a country in which its own citizens are not safe be able to support the soft hearted children? Citizens are often killed in military riots and it is very common in Uganda. Female genocide, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and anti-social activities are turing a happy childhood into a living nightmare for Uganda’s children. The government of Uganda is not able to invest a huge amount on sanitation and health care, because of which there is no satisfaction amongst the citizens.
Unsatisfied children run away from home to escape from rebel attacks. A 19-year long conflict in Uganda has destroyed the shelters of 1.4 million people, a majority of them children and women. Due to this, Uganda has around 2 million orphans and 940,000 of them were orphaned due to AIDS. In the conflict-affected areas, non-governmental organizations are educating children through primary education programs.
When you hear the name Somalia, the first image which comes to your mind is about malnourished kids with protruding bellies and prominent ribs. Nearly 363,000 Somali children are badly affected by malnutrition and the condition of 71,000 children is critical. In 2017, Somalia is likely to have 944,000 malnourished kids. Through these stats, Somalia paints a very terrible story about the problems faced by children here.
The United Nations has said that around 50,000 children are facing death here because children who are in need of food, medical care, and safe drinking water don’t get them. The popular NGO Save the Children has been creating awareness about the importance of infant and young child feeding practices. The average daily income of a parent is less than $1 a day, and food insecurity crisis has already taken the lives of many children. If the current conditions persist then it might be impossible for Somalia to have a future, ever.
5. South Sudan
Food security is the biggest problem in South Sudan. Kids are highly malnourished. People are generally unemployed and have no money to buy food for their kids. And child labor just adds salt to the wounds of already desolate conditions. Children are used for any work available ranging from heavy construction work to domestic help. South Sudan has taken many initiatives to prevent child labor, but the result is highly disappointing.
The National Army or Sudan People’s Liberation Army had recruited kids! Yes, kids work as bodyguards to military commanders and community police officers and many of these kids are facing commercial sexual exploitation. Beggary and lowly menial works also employ children. So to say the least, children here are not secure. Pervert eyes are always on the hunt for such children.
In this landlocked country, basic education is considered a useless luxury that only a few can afford. The school enrollment rate is very low, and there is no quality education anyway. Communities do not have a positive attitude towards girls’ education. One child in five does not get an opportunity to have primary education and only one in three completes primary schooling. Chad is highly populated, so it’s not a surprise that educational institutions are overcrowded, and to add icing to the cake, only 30% of teachers are well trained. There are no provisions for proper electricity connections, and children suffer because of this.
Only 2% of children under six months of age are properly breastfed. And this is because there are many blind beliefs associated with breastfeeding. So the mothers avoid breastfeeding their babies. And because of this, children are lacking in the essential nutrients and vitamins that only a mother’s milk can give to their baby. This country is considered as one of the worst countries for mothers.
Mali is a war ridden country in Africa. This country has encountered a number of armed conflicts. And children don’t have a bright future here. The infant mortality rate here is 106 deaths per 1,000 live births. Lack of medical care, especially low rate of immunization is the main reason. There is no awareness about proper pregnancy diet and necessities for mothers and that is why children are born with countless deficiencies.
In Mali, 39 percent of children under 5 are stunted whereas 18 percent of children are born with low birth weight and many of them are born with deficiencies. Pregnant women are anemic and the families have no access to safe drinking water. The economic condition of families is the worst. On an average, a parent earns $1 a day. This much is not enough even to arrange for a one-time meal in Mali.
Liberia has the worst maternal mortality rate in the world; 1,072 maternal deaths for every 100,000 births! A very heartbreaking stat. Many kids are deprived of their mother’s love and care. The child mortality rate is 71 per 1000 births and Ebola, an epidemic disease, made the condition even more pathetic in 2015. Teenage pregnancies and violence against children have formed a vicious circle in Liberia.
Due to the Ebola outbreak, the government had to close schools for nine months. This increased the amount of child labor and domestic violence in Liberia. Sexual violence has been haunting young girls, and sadly they do not feel safe in their own homes, schools or places of worship. As per police records, in most of the cases victims are in the age group of 10 to 14. Only fleeing seems the logical escape route for children here but many meet a horrible fate. Liberia is also known for child soldiers.
This country is consistently hitting the news headlines for bad reasons. 6 years of internal war has traumatized Syrian kids to the core. The Islamic State has destroyed the beautiful monuments of Syria and the childhood of Syrian kids has been very hard. The death of a three-year-old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, revealed the heartbreaking story of Syrian kids.
Militant activities and counter attacks have caused severe psychological stress among kids. 2 in 3 children have lost their loved ones and houses due to war, 1 in 4 children at risk of mental health disorders and because of this 50% of children have stopped going to schools. Syrian kids are deprived of the basic necessities like clean water, sanitation services, primary education, primary health care, immunization, nutritious food, psychosocial care, playgrounds and most importantly the right to live!
So we see that in a world full of countries where people live in close harmony and peace, there are some countries that can’t offer its citizens some basic necessities of life. What should an innocent child do in such countries, run and hide from their parents who are forced to sell their own children or to flee from the fiendish people who have a sexual interest in them?
A child has the right to basic necessities, to lead a nurturing and enriching upbringing, but in these countries what do they get? A childhood tainted with evil memories that scar them for life. If countries don’t have the ability to make their citizens satisfied, they should at least be bold enough to ask their citizens not to have children. Won’t that be better rather than generating mass scale sadness and grief?
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