General

France needs to act to protect children, their rights: UNICEF

The situation is particularly concerning in France’s poorer areas and overseas territories, UNICEF France said in a report published to mark World Children’s Day on Sunday.

“The persistence of both social and territorial inequalities – in particular poor neighborhoods … and overseas territories – prevents too many children from having access to school, health services or protection,” read the report.

In French Guiana, for instance, six out of 10 children live in poverty, the report said.

It warned that children’s mental health, protecting them from online dangers, impacts of climate change and pollution, and ensuring their right to participation all represent major new challenges for France.

For example, one-third of children between the ages of 6-18 say they suffer from psychological disorders, especially the most vulnerable, and three out of four children breathe polluted air, the report said.

“The current context of accumulation of crises (aftermath of the pandemic, energy crisis, environmental crisis, etc.) has serious repercussions on children and adolescents, in France and around the world,” said Adeline Hazan, head of UNICEF France.

“However, it is the most vulnerable children, whether in a situation of extreme poverty, migration, disability, often voiceless, who are generally the hardest hit. It is for this reason that special vigilance and support must be given to them,” she added.

Source: Anadolu Agency