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Children in poverty and deprivation


Poverty screams for attention, so powerful and so insistent that is hard to ignore it. And indeed, this is one of the key items on the agenda of every governmental, non-governmental, and inter - governmental organisation. Nevertheless, poverty persists and has not been eradicated, even if the world can boast several decades of more or less steady and sometimes extremely rapid economic growth.

The figures of the 2015 estimates are distressing: roughly 45% of the global population is barely able to meet its basic subsistence needs; about 20% live in such unfavourable conditions that they have no opportunity of living minimally dignified lives; 10% of the world’s population lives on less than US$1.90 a day.

The projections show that the world will not be able to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 if we continue along the path we have chosen and this not because of missing resources, but due to their non-mindful distribution. The richest 1% of the world, those with more than US$1 million, owns 45% of the world’s wealth. The world’s wealthiest individuals, owning over US$100’000 in assets, account for less than 10 % of the global population but own 84 % of global wealth. According to Forbes, the 10 richest billionaires in the world, own US$745 billion in combined wealth, a sum larger than annual income of most nations. Opposite from general believe, those individuals don’t live only in “developed countries” but also in some of those with the highest poverty rates. Based on the World Bank estimation, the largest wealth gap is estimated in South Africa, Namibia and Haiti, countries that show largest inequality in terms of income distribution.

As a rule, it is mostly ignored that the accumulation on the one side, according to the law of nature, is achieved by the withdrawal on the other side. Translated into economics, this means that the wealth accumulated by the minority is always acquired by the majority working for them - as higher the wealth accumulation on the one side, the lower the wages on the other. This is particularly evident in reports of workers doing their jobs under inhumane conditions for little pay.

Such approach it often justified with statistics showing an increase in the new job opportunities that lead to diminishing of unemployment. However, as long as the work does not provide compensation that allows a decent life, such an economic approach will only create a greater wealth gap based on exploitation and modern slavery. Indeed, according to Oxfam, the wealth gap between the global billionaires and the bottom half of humanity is steadily growing. This inequality causes deprivation, homelessness and mass migrations, bringing global socio-political and economic destabilization.

Although inequality in Europe is less pronounced that in the US or some African and Asian countries, we must not ignore poverty in an area of more than 731 million people, spread across 48 different countries. Especially, because of the European role in the global socio-political and economic situation.

We should not ignore a single person, and especially not a single child living under conditions that do not provide basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education.

The children are foundation of the future. It is they who will decide in which direction world will move; who will decide how future resources and wealth will be distributed; who will decide about the health of our planet, and either the human species will move towards or against own extinction.

By abolishing children's deprivation, by educating them, by giving them example of kindness, compassion and respect, by teaching them about intertwining with everything that surrounds us, we will help them grow in healthier and happier adults. The adults who can lead us into the future where poverty is no longer a threat.

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