Stolen Childhoods

The Claude Pepper Center mission has largely been limited to retirement, health care, long term care, and other policy issues related to the well being of the elderly. Over the next several months, we will expand our mission to begin addressing a range of policy challenges related to the well being of children; beginning with this informative report on the needs of children in poor households and communities.

For at least 700 million children worldwide – and perhaps hundreds of millions more – childhood has ended too soon. The major reasons included poor health, conflict, extreme violence, child marriage, early pregnancy, malnutrition, exclusion from education and child labor. When taken together, these factors have created a global childhood crisis of massive proportions. For nearly a century, Save the Children has been fighting to save children from poverty and discrimination. This new report – the first in an annual series – takes a hard look at the events that rob children of their childhoods. These “childhood enders” represent an assault on the future of children

Childhood should be a safe time of life for growing, learning and playing. Every child deserves a childhood of love, care and protection so they can develop to their full potential. But this is not the experience for at least a quarter of our children worldwide. The majority of these children live in disadvantaged communities in developing countries, where they have been bypassed by progress that has lifted up many of their peers. Many suffer from a toxic mix of poverty and discrimination – excluded because of who they are: a girl, a refugee, from an ethnic minority or a child with a disability. These threats to childhood are also present in high-income countries. All countries, rich and poor, can do a better job of ensuring every child enjoys the right to a childhood.

– Save the Children

Read the full report here.