The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday cautioned that hundreds of millions of children who live in the world’s urban areas have been largely ignored by policymakers.
“We’re approaching some sort of tipping point. Already more than half the world’s people live in cities and towns and so do more than a billion children,” UNICEF project editor Abid Aslam said in a statement. “The day is rapidly approaching when the majority of the world’s children will be growing up in urban environments.”
Aslam said that for many children living in cities, the conditions “are extremely harsh.”
The group cited reports of kids being subjected to violence, exploitation, and a lack of basic necessities in slums in Nairobi, Kenya, many cities in Brazil, and other places in the world.
“They don’t know often from one week to the next, or one month to the next, or one year to the next where they’re going to live, much less whether they’re going to be able to go to school, or whether they’re going to have clean, piped water,” Aslam added.