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The State of the World's Children 2005

Childhood Under Threat

image of The State of the World's Children 2005

The 2005 edition of UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children focuses on how poverty, conflict and HIV/AIDS threaten the idea of childhood as a period of time for children to grow and develop to their full potential. In several regions and countries, some of the gains made since the adoption of the Convention on the rights of the child in 1989 are in danger of reversal. The rights of over 1 billion children are violated by being severely underserved of one or more of the basic services required to survive, grow and develop.

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Children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDs

Children do not need to have HIV/AIDS to be devastated by it. When HIV/AIDS enters a household by infecting one or both parents, the very fabric of a child’s life falls apart. The statistics are numbing: By 2003, 15 million children under the age of 18 had been orphaned by HIV/AIDS; just two years earlier, the figure stood at 11.5 million. Eight out of 10 of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that in 2010, over 18 million African children under the age of 18 will have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS, and the number of double orphans – children whose mother and father have died – will increase by about 2 million over the same period. Millions more live in households with sick and dying family members. Although they are not yet orphaned, these children also suffer the pernicious effects of HIV/AIDS.

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