New Report: Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage, Violence and Forced Labor Continue to Affect Girls Worldwide
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 3:30 PM

Nearly 20 percent of young girls in sub-Saharan Africa are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), according to a United Nations report compiling a wide range of data on the status of children worldwide. The data show that FGM, early and forced marriage, economic exploitation and violent punishment affect significant numbers of children in some of the world’s poorest countries. 
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released the report, Every child counts: revealing disparities, advancing children's rights, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The data show progress over the past few decades in child mortality rates, primary school enrollment, measles immunization rates and improved sanitation. Deprivations documented by the data, in addition to the continued prevalence of FGM, include: fifteen percent of the world’s children engage in child labor, eleven percent of girls are married before age 15, and high rates of death from preventable causes. The report notes: “Children’s chances differ depending on whether their country is a rich or a poor one; whether they are born girls or boys, into families rich or poor; or whether they live in the countryside or the city – and there, too, whether they live in well-to-do areas or impoverished neighbourhoods.”

Compiled from: 
Tran, Mark, Female genital mutilation affects a fifth of young girls in sub-Saharan Africa, The Guardian (Jan. 30, 2014)