Latin America, the most violent region for children, outside of wars: Unicef

Latin America and the Caribbean is the region of the world “more violent” for children, not counting conflict zones warlike, with worrying figures that worsened after the emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic, revealed the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef, for its acronym in English).

“Latin America and the Caribbean for a boy and a girl is the most violent region in the world, outside of conflict zones. And it is more violent after the pandemic,” the head of Communications for UNICEF for Latin America and the Caribbean, Laurent Duvillier.

Two out of three children under 14 years of age in Latin America have experienced domestic violence, a situation that begins “very early, even in children under 1 year of age,” Duvillier declared.

“This violence, throughout childhood, endures. It changes scope, but it lasts”, said the head of Communication.

This situation “begins at home, then at school, on the street and especially with girls, sexual harassment” and normalizes, so that when they become adults, violence is normal and they repeat it”.

violence can turn deadly by adolescence: the regional rate of homicides of children and adolescents (12.6 per 100,000) is four times greater than the world average (3 per 100,000), according to Unicef ​​figures provided to EFE.

“The pandemic and the confinement left a region (Latin America) for a more insecure, violent, poor, less stable boy and girl, with more migrations, less healthy, more unequal and with less learning,” Duvillier said.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the most unequal region in the world, almost 45% of minors 18 years old live in poverty, a proportion that exceeds the average of the general population of the region, which is the 13%; This means that “children are more vulnerable to falling into poverty,” she explained.

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one in three families Latinas with children “do not have enough financial resources to survive beyond two weeks, that is, they have a short-term survival period,” according to Unicef ​​figures explained by Duvillier.

Just like him fifty % of families with children say they are putting less food on their plates than before the pandemic.”

“This has consequences for health, so we have a less healthy region with more diseases. But also in the development of the brain and performance in school”, warned Duvillier.

Duvillier emphasized the “learning crisis” of the region, since four out of five sixth grade students (ages 10-12) cannot understand a simple text; This is one of the direct consequences of the closure of schools, the “longest and most continuous” on the planet.

“This is a piece of information that is going to have long-term implications for the economic development, social and political stability throughout the region,” he said.

According to Unicef, this generation could lose up to 12% of your earnings for life, that is, a collective loss of up to 2.3 trillion dollars, if urgent measures are not taken to address the crisis.

On average, Latin American students have 1.5 years behind in learning and by the end of this year, test scores in reading and mathematics are expected to drop to levels of more than ten years ago.

All “that is an explosive cocktail,” Duvillier alarmed.

He added that if urgent action is not taken, Latin America will have “doctors who do not know how to heal, engineers who do not know how to build a bridge, teachers who do not know how to teach.”

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“It will also generate a shortage of qualified labor, which results in migration to call people from abroad, a huge challenge for the engine of the country,” he concluded.

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