All 10 countries with the highest child homicide rates worldwide are in Latin America and the Caribbean, with Honduras topping the list, according to a report released Wednesday by Save the Children, an international non-profit organization.
Such extreme violence is one of the most striking ways that Save The Children says some at least 700 million children worldwide are robbed of their childhoods. The organization also named other factors such as poverty and hunger.
“Children have the right to survival, food and nutrition, health and shelter. They also have the right to be encouraged and educated, both formally and informally. And they have the right to live free from fear, safe from violence and protected from abuse and exploitation,” the organization said.
Child homicides happen in all countries, rich or poor, but the rise in violent criminal activity in Latin America and the Caribbean is contributing to the regions’ high child homicide rates. The violence puts childhoods at risk in other ways. Where gang violence is present, such as in El Salvador, children stay away from school and young people are unable to hold jobs, Save the Children said.
Save the Children received wide acclaim for their campaign video on refugees last year, which got almost 2 million views.
In its report, Save the Children ranked countries overall based on eight indicators related to child health, education, labor, marriage, childbirth, and violence. Western European countries, such as Norway, Portugal, and France, round out the top tier of best rankings, with countries from other regions, such as Slovenia, Japan, Israel, Estonia, and Qatar making the top tier list as well.
Save the Children released another dramatic video coinciding with their report, raising awareness of violence against children with this “unboxing” video.
STEPHEN A. NUÑO