Over 95% of Brazilian children go to school: Unicef

A reduction in immunization among children has caused concern

Published in 12/11/2019 - 19:12 By Pedro Ivo de Oliveira - Brasília

The United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, today (Nov. 12) launched a study showing the impacts of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Brazilian population. The survey found that 95.3 percent of children and adolescents aged four through 17 go to school regularly.

A reduction of 71 percent was reported in the child mortality rate since the 90s, a rate well above 33 percent set by Unicef. However, the study shows that violence became a major problem for young people, especially those belonging to ethnic minorities or vulnerable groups. According to figures from the Dique 100 hotline, negligence (72.7%) and psychological (48.8%), physical (40.6%), and sexual (22.4%) violence were the most frequent violations targetting children and adolescents.

Overweight and obesity

Low amounts of vitimine in ultra-processed foodstuffs—with preservatives, sugars, and fat, ready for consumption—are reported to pose risks for all income groups across the country.

The absence of physical exercises among children and adolescents is also a key driver behind overweight in Brazil’s younger population. Of adolescents, 17,1 percent are overweight, and 8.4 percent are considered obese.

Water and sanitation

The data also indicate that access to drinking water is still not ubiquitous.

Water is reported to serve 83.3 percent of the population, but in the states of Acre, Pará, Rondônia, and Amapá, this figure plunges to 50 percent of the population.

For sewage, the rate is even more alarming—a mere 51.9 percent of Brazilians have access to treated sewage, which directly impacts the health of young people.

The challenges lying ahead

According to Unicef, the so-called climate crisis and the increase of cases of mental diseased among the youth are important items of the agenda for the coming years.

The report also brings to light an increasingly severe reduction in child immunization, which may lead to outbreaks of diseases previously seen as under control or eradicated, like measles.

The publication of the study marks 30 years since the ratification of the Unicef treaty, signed by 195 other countries, and considered the most world’s comprehensive international treaty.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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