Early marriage, malnutrition and exclusion from education have robbed almost a quarter of the world’s children of a safe and happy upbringing, a major report has found.
According to research by Save the Children, some 690 million children under 18 had their childhood stolen in 2017 – including 145 million who died prematurely.
The report looks at eight common events that result in the end of childhood, including early pregnancy, ill-health and violence and conflict.
“A lot of these challenges are entirely preventable,” said Gwen Hines, executive director of global programmes at Save the Children. “Governments can and must do more to give every child the best possible start in life.”
But while close to 700 million children continue to suffer, the world has made progress since the millennium – when some 970 million were robbed of a safe healthy upbringing.