HUFFINGTON POST

Striking Photos Document Inequalities Among Children Worldwide

Millions of kids around the globe are deprived of basic human rights.

Access to nutritious food, clean drinking water, a proper education and a safe place to live is essential for healthy development, but millions of children around the world are deprived of these basic human rights.

About 16,000 children die every day. Many of their deaths are caused by treatable or preventable issues including malnutrition, which can be attributed to nearly half of all deaths in children under the age of 5. Some 59 million primary school-aged kids are not enrolled in school, the majority of whom live in poor households. One in three women aged 20 to 24 were married as children, and an adolescent girl is killed by an act of violence every 10 minutes. 

Circumstances caused by war, conflict, poverty and natural disasters are beyond children's control, but often have devastating effects on their lives.

"When children do not have a fair chance in life, significant inequalities emerge between those who have the most and those who have the least," notes The United Nations' children's rights advocacy branch, UNICEF. "Those inequalities are passed from generation to generation in a vicious circle that has significant economic, political and social consequences -- leading to an unequal and unfair world."

Take a look at these striking photos from UNICEF that highlight the importance of working toward a world that offers a fair chance for every child.

  • Proper nutrition is extremely important for children’s survival, health and development. In Khulna, Bangladesh, Amena A
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    Proper nutrition is extremely important for children’s survival, health and development. In Khulna, Bangladesh, Amena Akhter makes sure that her 4-year-old daughter, Hafsa Khatun (under the table) eats vegetables during the family’s varied and nutritious lunch meal.
  • Kaltum Mallamgrema lives in Maiduguri, northern Nigeria, in a camp for persons displaced by the Boko Haram conflict. She did
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    Kaltum Mallamgrema lives in Maiduguri, northern Nigeria, in a camp for persons displaced by the Boko Haram conflict. She did not receive antenatal care or assistance during any of her eight pregnancies and cannot afford health care. She lost three of her children to miscarriages, and her last child was stillborn.
  • Aishatu Muhammad, 53, a nurse, diagnoses vomiting and fever in patient Hadiza Monsour, 33, who is expecting her seventh child
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    Aishatu Muhammad, 53, a nurse, diagnoses vomiting and fever in patient Hadiza Monsour, 33, who is expecting her seventh child, at a primary health care center in Maiduguri, Nigeria on March 23. On average, children born into the poorest 20 percent of households are almost twice as likely to die before age 5 as those born into the richest 20 percent.
  • Education has the power to lift children out of poverty and end intergenerational cycles of inequity. Rakib Hosain Sabbi, 9,
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    Education has the power to lift children out of poverty and end intergenerational cycles of inequity. Rakib Hosain Sabbi, 9, a star cricketer at his primary school in Satkhira Sadar, Bangladesh, receives tutoring after school. He would like to go on to secondary school and beyond, perhaps eventually becoming a doctor.
  • Disadvantaged children and families contend with a range of obstacles in getting the services and support they need. Mustafa
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    Disadvantaged children and families contend with a range of obstacles in getting the services and support they need. Mustafa Mala’s family in Nigeria has been displaced to Maiduguri by conflict. None of his school-aged children are in school because he cannot afford the annual fees. Globally, the likelihood of violent conflict doubles in countries with high levels of inequality in education.
  • Lack of resources forced Jhuma Akhter, a 14-year-old from Bangladesh, to quit school and start working for $7 a month. After
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    Lack of resources forced Jhuma Akhter, a 14-year-old from Bangladesh, to quit school and start working for $7 a month. After her mother was enrolled in a UNICEF-supported conditional cash transfer program, Jhuma was able to return to school. She is now in 7th grade and the top student in her class. Here, Jhuma is doing her homework at a desk her mother uses by day to sell items she scavenges in nearby dumps.
  • A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start. In Nigeria, Remi Falayi (center), with her husband and daughter, 3
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start. In Nigeria, Remi Falayi (center), with her husband and daughter, 3-month-old Oluwatomini, has adjusted her work schedule in order to exclusively breastfeed her child. “It’s not easy. But it’s worth doing,” she says.
  • A family gathers at their home in a Roma settlement in Belgrade, Serbia, on March 14. Marginalized groups living in info
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    A family gathers at their home in a Roma settlement in Belgrade, Serbia, on March 14. Marginalized groups living in informal settlements, illegal dwellings or urban slums are vulnerable to health threats because of overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, high transportation costs, discriminatory practices and lack of access to basic services. These factors also create barriers to demand, which impede the initial and continued use of services by the most disadvantaged. When combined with low rates of immunization, this situation exacerbates the transmission of diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and tuberculosis.
  • Although tuition is free in Nigeria, Muhammad Modu, 15, cannot afford the cost of lunch, a uniform or transportation to schoo
    Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo/UNICEF
    Although tuition is free in Nigeria, Muhammad Modu, 15, cannot afford the cost of lunch, a uniform or transportation to school. Instead, he scavenges this dump for items to sell.
  • Rexona Begum in Kultoli Village, also in Bangladesh, has learned through a local clinic how to make healthier food choices fo
    UNICEF/UN016328/Gilbertson VII Photo
    Rexona Begum in Kultoli Village, also in Bangladesh, has learned through a local clinic how to make healthier food choices for her family, but cannot afford to buy the essential nutritious foods they need. Her daughter Sumiya, 5, is malnourished. At current trends, almost 120 million children worldwide will suffer from chronic malnutrition by 2030.
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