聯合國兒童基金會《兒童進展報告》 全球數百萬青少年發展受壓 非洲情況尤其嚴峻

 

聯合國兒童基金會《兒童進展報告》 全球數百萬青少年發展受壓 非洲情況尤其嚴峻

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UNICEF Statistics and Monitoring Associate Director Tessa Wardlaw speaks at the launch of Progress for Children: A report card on adolescents, at UNICEF House. She is holding a copy of the report. The podium bears the UNICEF logo. On 24 April 2012, UNICEF launched Progress for Children: A report card on adolescents at UNICEF House. The report calls for increased attention to, and investment in, all aspects of the lives of the worlds 1.2 billion adolescents aged 10 and 19 years. Globally, despite significant health and education progress over the past 20 years, an estimated 1.4 million adolescents die each year from traffic injuries, childbirth complications, suicide, AIDS and other causes. Children entering adolescence are also increasingly at risk of violence, both domestic and other forms. Additionally, while 90 per cent of children of primary school age are in school, 71 million children of lower secondary school age do not attend school and 127 million young people, aged 15-24 years, are illiterate. Adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa a group that is projected to be the largest adolescent population in the world by 2050 are particularly at risk. All these challenges combine to impede adolescent contributions to positive change in environments where they can be both protected and encouraged to maximize their creativity, innovation and energy helping to solve their own problems and problems in their communities. The Lancets Adolescent Series on Health was also launched at the event.

紐約/香港,2012年4月24日——過去20年,教育及公共衞生項目上的進步,改善了不少青少年的生活。但根據聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)最新發表的《兒童進展報告:青少年報告》(Progress for Children: A report card on adolescents)指,在世界各地,仍有眾多青少年的需要仍然備受忽略,促使每年多逾100萬名青少年喪生、數以千萬計的青少年失學。

舉例說,報告指出,縱觀全球,撒哈拉以南的非洲地區是現今青少年發展最惡劣的地區。區內青少年人口不斷增長,預計到2050年,該區將成為全球青少年人口最高的地方。然而,現時當地兒童的小學畢業率僅得五成,青年就業率亦屬偏低。

《兒童進展報告:青少年報告》亦警告,全球合共多達12億名青少年(根據聯合國的定義,青少年是指介乎10至19歲的人士),由於各地發展不均,遂衍生出種種棘手問題。

「貧窮、社會地位低、性別不平等或肢體殘障,導致數以百萬計的青少年無法平等獲取優質教育、醫療服務及參與社會事務的權利。」UNICEF副執行主任Geeta Rao Gupta女士表示:「這份全面的報告有助我們找出最貧困、處於最弱勢的青少年,認清他們問題所在。大家是時候正視他們的需要,決不能再置之不理。」

(Left-right) Azara Mohammed, 14, and Humu Baba, 13, visit a guinea-worm containment centre in the town of Savelugu, capital of Savelugu-Nanton District in Northern Region. Both children were previously infected with guinea-worm disease, a painful and debilitating infection caused by a parasite ingested through drinking contaminated water. Children under 16, who are more likely to play in or drink from infected water sources, are most affected. [#1 IN SEQUENCE OF TWO] In September 2008 in Ghana, economic growth and government reforms continue to improve the lives of children and families. The country is on track to achieve several United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, progress is uneven. The northern regions, which account for half of the countrys population living below the poverty line, are the most impoverished, and there are wide regional and rural/urban disparities in child and maternal mortality. And while 78 per cent of the entire population has access to improved drinking water sources and 60.7 per cent have access to improved sanitation, the north lags well behind these percentages. Working with the Government and other partners, UNICEF supports health, nutrition, education and protection interventions, as well as a range of integrated water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions, including to eradicate guinea-worm disease in endemic districts.A 13 year old adolescent girl, Kavita Vijay. UNICEF India/2010/Giacomo Pirozzi
A girl, 15 years old and pregnant, leans against a wall in the city of Maburaka. She became pregnant while in secondary school. The father of the baby disappeared when he learned of her situation. Pregnancy is the third most common reason students drop out of primary school. In March 2009 in Sierra Leone, children and adolescents continue to face barriers to protection and education. Infant mortality and under-five mortality rates remain the highest in the world, and nearly a third of the countrys children lack a primary caregiver. Girls are particularly vulnerable, contending with gender-based discrimination and harmful social practices, including child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Some 56 per cent of girls marry before the age of 18, and 94 per cent of girls are subject to FGM/C, a procedure that can cause infection, chronic pain, complications during pregnancy and delivery, and increased rates of infant mortality. Education remains a hurdle for all children, with only half of all primary schools presently functioning. Dropout rates are high, particularly among girls, orphans, and children affected by poverty or sexual exploitation. UNICEF is responding to these conditions by working with Government officials and NGOs to rehabilitate schools and implement standards of care for all children. UNICEF is also working with community groups to promote girls education.
Childs View Students attend class at Celukuphiwa School in Estcourt, a town in KwaZulu-Natal Province. The photograph was taken by Godgiven Mokoena, 17, one of 20 participants in a UNICEF-organized child photography workshop. In February 2010 in South Africa, UNICEF supported a photography workshop for 20 children in the eastern town of Estcourt, in KwaZulu-Natal, the countrys poorest province. The participants came from two local schools, including Lyndhurst Primary School, whose motto is education is freedom. Many participants have been affected by HIV/AIDS, some are orphans, and most live in poverty. Only one participant had used a camera before. Crime and sexual violence are also serious problems in the community. South Africa has the highest rates of sexual assault in the world, and some 40 per cent of victims are children. The country also has the largest number of children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. Guided by UNICEF photographer Giacomo Pirozzi, the workshop participants learned basic camera functions and chose to photograph different aspects of daily life in their community. The workshop was supported by Gucci, a UNICEF private sector partner. Gucci is also the largest corporate supporter of Schools for Africa, a programme established in 2004 by UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Hamburg Society. Schools for Africa supports educational programmes in 11 countries, including South Africa. The Lyndhurst Primary School also receives Schools for Africa funding through a Sport for Development programme, which educates children about HIV/AIDS and the risks of too early and unprotected sex.
年少結婚產子有礙少女身心發展

報告亦提出,各界必需投放更多資源,改善青少年各方面的生活及福利,以至他們的生存所需。現時每年有140萬名青少年死於交通意外、妊娠或分娩併發症、自殺、愛滋病和暴力事件等事故。在某些拉丁美洲國家,與道路交通傷亡及自殺相比,有更多的少男是死於兇殺案;在非洲,妊娠和分娩併發症則是15至19歲少女的頭號殺手。

而兒童由踏入青少年階段開始,他們面對的最大威脅,亦隨之由疾病及營養不良問題,轉化為暴力問題,當中少女尤其容易受婚姻暴力所傷害。根據一項在剛果民主共和國進行的調查,7成年齡介乎15至19歲的受訪已婚少女表示,她們曾遭受過現任或前任伴侶暴力對待。

更甚者,青少年,特別是少女,很多時都被迫提早放棄童年,擔起成年人的責任。這不但扼殺了他們學習及成長的機會,更置他們的健康與人身安全於凶險。

報告指出,在中國以外的發展中國家,多逾1/3年齡介乎20至24歲的婦女,早在18歲時已結婚或同居,而當中約1/3人的結婚年齡更早至15歲。至於,拉丁美洲、加勒比及撒哈拉以南的非洲區內的青少年生育率亦處於甚高水平。在尼日爾,多達半數20至24歲的少女,18歲前已經產子。

中學入學率持續偏低

在教育發展方面,全球小學入學率雖已平均達到90%,不少國家更正努力擴展中學教育,然發展中國家的中學入學率依然處於低水平。其中尤以非洲及亞洲情況最為嚴重,當地許多中學適齡學童仍然就讀小學,在撒哈拉以南的非洲地區,中學入學率更位列全球最尾。

目前全球約有7,100萬名中學適齡學童失學,另有1.2億名15至24歲的青少年屬文盲,他們大部分集中在南亞和撒哈拉以南的非洲地區。

報告亦強調,各方需大力加強涉及青少年的倡議、福利項目及政策工作,讓所有青少年都得以實踐他們應有的權利。青少年是兒童發展的關鍵階段,倘能投放適當資源,將可望打破跨代貧窮的惡性循環,為青少年、社區甚至國家帶來社會、經濟及政策上的裨益。

年輕人同時是帶動社區轉變的骨幹,相關項目及政策除了要保護兒童及青少年外,還要給予他們發展潛能的機會,讓他們能夠巧用自身的想像力、創意和活力,解決種種疑難。

On 5 July, J8 youth delegates review their work on a laptop computer, at the Citizens' Cultural Centre in the city of Chitose on Hokkaido Island. They are: (left-right) Antoine Marie Oliver Bertrand-Hardy of France, Miho Kikuchi of Japan, Alexander Mario Wegner of Germany, Sergey Kononenko of the Russian Federation, Rose Elizabeth Stuart of the United Kingdom, Marco Zabai of Italy, and Nondumiso Thandeka Nkosi of South Africa. From 2 to 9 July 2008 in Japan, 39 young people from around the world gathered in the city of Chitose on Hokkaido Island for the Junior 8 (J8) Summit, hosted by the Government of Japan and UNICEF. The meeting parallels the annual summit of Heads of State/Government from Group of 8 (G8) countries, also hosted on Hokkaido Island this year. G8 countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The J8 Summit provides a platform for young people to discuss global issues, advocate for solutions and actions from world leaders and foster a global youth movement around international issues. Participants, aged 13 to 17, are from all of the G8 countries. Young people from seven developing countries, Barbados, Côte dIvoire, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal and South Africa, also participated. The meeting focused on three principal G8 topics: climate change and global warming; poverty and development; and global health, particularly child survival and infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS. On 7 July, J8 delegates, selected by their peers, presented their recommendations to G8 leaders at their meeting venue in the nearby town of Toyako. The recommendations asked that world leaders listen to young people and outlined specific proposals to reduce global warming (including the creation of Green Indexes to evaluate the climate-impact of products produced globally); reduce global poverty (including by supporting child rights and conflict resolution); and increase positive health initiatives worldwide (including education on disease prevention and G8 matching funds for developing country health sectors). 26 November 2010, children wearing UNICEF caps and T-shirts raise their hands at the closing ceremony of the National Youth Forum on Children's Rights that took place at the Djado Sekou Cultural Centre in Niamey, the capital of Niger. Child participation in decision-making processes is still a myth in Niger but some noteworthy progress are being achieved thanks to the myriad of efforts undertaken by UNICEF and partners to boost children's expression. Children's viewpoints on matters that concern them can contribute to the creation of a child-friendly environment respectful of their rights in Niger. In Niger more than 9 out of 10 children are deprived of at least one right essential to their well-being, and almost 8 in 10 children are deprived of at least two essential rights simultaneously. UNICEF Niger creates communication platforms that provide space for children to freely express themselves and by advocating for more airtime on radio and television to broadcast shows produced by and for children. At the end of 2010 UNICEF Niger organized a mega children's forum (November 24-26, 2010) bringing together 160 children coming from the country's 36 districts. The forum gave children the unique opportunity to speak out and voice their concerns directly to national authorities, researchers, journalists and UN staff. Children's messages were broadcast on television and radio stations on a daily basis during and after the presidential election in 2010.

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