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Age related debates on Human Rights Day

by on December 11, 2014

Yesterday was global Human Rights Day, which marks (as described by the International Business Times UK), “the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948”.

The IB times also highlighted shocking facts related to human rights abuses of children and young people:

“There are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK today, which is around 27% of children, or more than one in four. According to Unicef, 22,000 children worldwide die each day due to poverty.

More than 300,000 children under the age of 18 are being exploited as child soldiers in armed conflicts worldwide.

Around 15 million girls are forced into child marriage around the world every year. One in three girls in the developing world are married by their 18th birthday, increasing their risk of isolation and violence, and limiting their chance to have an education.

The total number of child labourers remains high, with Unicef and the International Labour Organisation acknowledging an estimated 168 million children aged five to 17 are involved worldwide.”

On this last point the International Political forum highlighted via twitter that Bolivia has “lowered the legal working age to allow children to work from the age of 10”.

The Huffington post further explored the question “Are we failing children in England”,  and provided a useful summary of how various campaign groups are using the day to highlight areas of concern related to child poverty, health and legal status (including issues relating to the age of criminal responsibility which is 10 in the UK.)

Meanwhile there was also much concern expressed about issues of human rights related to older people across the globe, particularly highlighted by HelpAge International looking at the challenges in access to health care and other services in many places.  On twitter, this was summarised in the statement “older people are rights holders not the recipients of charity”.

Other campaign groups used age to highlight particular issues.  One that really struck me was St Mungo’s Broadway’s tweet of an infographic showing that the average age of death for a homeless man is 47 and for a homeless woman is 43.

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