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Fifty-nine million out of school

GENEVA (AsiaNews): About a third of all children in developing nations do not get the opportunity to go to school, because they must work. But what is more surprising, around the same number say their schools are not safe.

The results of a study carried out by the ChildFund Alliance on school absenteeism in 41 nations, found the highest out of school rate is in Afghanistan, where nine out of 10 children are not in the classrooms.

The alliance questioned about 6,200 children between the ages of 10 and 12. It found that nearly a third of the children say their schools are not always safe. 

The highest rate of reported danger was in Burkina Faso, where one in five children said school is never safe.

UNICEF estimates that overall, some 59 million children do not attend primary school.

The International Labour Organisation claims that about 168 million children and teenagers are forced to work, with 85 million of them in highly dangerous jobs.

In its 2015 report, it found that in poor countries, 20 to 30 per cent of children under the age of 15 leave school to start working.

In 2015, United Nations-member states approved the goal of providing free and accessible primary and secondary school education to all children by 2030.

The data was made public for on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, which is celebrated on November 20.

The day, sponsored by the United Nations, is designed to promote children’s rights. On November 16, Pope Francis stressed its importance at his weekly general audience.

The pope appealed “to everyone’s conscience, institutions and families, that children always be protected and their wellbeing safeguarded, so that they never fall prey to forms of slavery, recruitment for armed groups, and mistreatment.”


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