The convention on the rights of the child has been

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the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been widely and rapidly rati- fied. In human terms, this progress means that approximately 2.5 million fewer children died in 1996 than died in 1990, and millions will be spared insidious impediments to their development due to malnutrition. It also means that at least three quarters of a million fewer children each year will be disabled, blinded, crippled, or born mentally retarded (UNICEF, 1995). These are significant achievements that deserve high praise. They demon- strate that hard work and commitment to goals can pay off. More impor- tant, such progress makes it possible to counter charges that efforts such as these fail in the developing world and that organizations like the United Nations are ineffective. Despite these gains, there are still myriad problems for the children of the world, especially the developing world. These problems have grown in nature in the last few years because of a number of wars and violent aggres- sion, especially in the Middle East and Africa, which have killed, wounded, and disrupted the lives of millions of children and families. To address the latter, UNICEF and partners rose to multiple challenges in 2015. Their accomplishments in such emergency situations included: supplying 25.5 mil- lion people with safe drinking water; giving 23 million measles vaccinations to children between 6 months and 15 years of age; providing 7.5 million children aged 3 to 18 with access to formal or nonformal basic education; Copyright ©2018 by SAGE Publications, Inc. This work may not be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without express written permission of the publisher. Draft Proof - Do not copy, post, or distribute
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CHAPTER 11: Children, Social Problems, and Society 307 treating 2 million children aged 6 months to 59 months for severe acute malnutrition; and providing psychosocial support to 3.1 million children (UNICEF, 2016a, p. 13). Regarding the state of the world’s children more generally in 2016, UNICEF (2016b) has pointed to the important negative consequences of growing inequality regarding wealth and access to basic resources and quality of life globally and within countries. Here, especially the problems of children in sub-Saharan Africa are the most startling, and they demand attention both to inequality and to action to invest in the qual- ity of life of all the world’s children. Without such investments and continued progress, UNICEF predicts that by 2030: almost 70 million children may die before reaching their fifth birthdays; children in sub-Saharan Africa will be 10 times more likely to die before their fifth birthdays than children in high- income countries; nine out of 10 children living in extreme poverty will live in sub-Saharan Africa; and more than 60 million primary school-aged chil- dren will be out of school—roughly the same number as are out of school today. More than half will be from sub-Saharan Africa; some 750 million women will have been married as children—three quarters of a billion child brides (UNICEF, 2016b, p. vii).
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