ABS-CBN: MANILA, Philippines – Basic needs of children are not being met in urban settings, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned in a report.
In its report “The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World,” UNICEF said that while urbanization is linked to employment and economic growth, children in cities are “growing up amid scarcity and deprivation.”
“Children who live in the poorest urban communities in the Philippines experience multiple deprivations. They lack decent housing, are exposed to dangers from disasters, have limited access to clean water and are more prone to neglect, abuse and exploitation. Each excluded child represents a missed opportunity at achieving a stable and productive society,” said Dr. Abdul Alim, UNICEF Representative.
UNICEF cited the current living conditions in Metro Manila, wherein 1.7 million of the 11 million residents are children living in informal settlements.
“When we think of poverty, the image that traditionally comes to mind is that of a child in a rural village,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “But today, an increasing number of children living in slums and shantytowns are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the world, deprived of the most basic services and denied the right to thrive.”
“Excluding these children in slums not only robs them of the chance to reach their full potential; it robs their societies of the economic benefits of having a well-educated, healthy urban population,” Lake added.
UNICEF said that broad statistical averages that lump together both rich and poor city dwellers veil the deprivations endured by children in poor cities.