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UNICEF: Half of world's children suffering

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LONDON, Dec 09, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- UNICEF's annual State of the World's Children report said Thursday more than 1 billion children worldwide are suffering extreme deprivations.

Citing poverty, war and HIV/AIDS, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said the situation contravenes 1989's Convention on the Rights of the Child -- the world's most widely adopted human rights treaty.

The report said poverty is not exclusive to developing countries, as in 11 of 15 industrialized nations for which data is available the proportion of children living in low-income households has risen during the last decade.

The impact of war on children has been high, the report said. Nearly half of the 3.6 million people killed in war since 1990 have been children, who are no longer immune from being singled out as targets.

The report said the impact of HIV/AIDS on children is seen most dramatically in the number of AIDS orphans that grew to 15 million worldwide last year.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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