Ground Reality

05 Mar 2012
urbanisation excluding kids from vital services: Unicef

Urbanisation excluding kids from vital services: Unicef
The growing urbanisation has seen a large number of children in urban areas excluded from vital services in several countries, including Nepal, according to a UNICEF report.
The report titled “The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World” has urged the government to take immediate action.
The report mentions about the poor conditions of 28 slums in the Kathmandu Valley where 40 percent births are unattended, 50 percent women lack any kind of pregnancy tests and 7 percent people do not seek any medial assistance. Similarly, 32 percent children in the slum areas are not immunised.
“The government should be more responsible for addressing children’s issues rather than other agendas. As children are the future of the country, they should be the main focus,” said Hanaa Singer, Unicef country representative, at a programme.
The report states that children are exploited as child labourers, beggars and porters, and that they are vulnerable to sex abuse, drugs use and criminal activities in the urban areas.
Some of the major problems for the urban poor children include their invisibility, exploitation, lacking basic services, disparities in the cities and registration problems, according to the report.
“This has been a challenge for Unicef, whose presence now has to shift from rural to urban area. It’s a wake up call to be focusing on the urban area,” Singer said.