By John Whitman

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She is currently President of the International Association for Feminist Economics and Vice-President of the International Economic Association. Each year, tens of millions of children are the victims of exploitation, violence and abuse. They are abducted from their homes and schools and recruited into armed conflicts. They are trafficked and forced to work in prostitution and sweatshops. They are needlessly deprived of 25 THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2005 parental care and forced into early marriage.

They are also at greater risk of contracting HIV. Children in institutional care, while ostensibly protected from the most obvious protection abuses, are segregated from one another according to age and sex and from other people in their communities. This inhibits the development of vital social skills as well as community support and interaction. The fight against poverty stands a good chance only when children are freed from exploitation, violence and abuse. Unfortunately, there is no quick-fix solution: A child cannot be immunized CHILDHOOD UNDER THREAT against abuse.

Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties. 37 3 Children Caught Up in Conflict © UNICEF/HQ03-0160/Shehzad Noorani Children do not start wars, yet they are most vulnerable to its deadly effects. Children rarely grasp the complex causes of armed conflict, yet they are all too often forced to flee their homes, witness atrocities or even perpetrate war crimes themselves.

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A Droid's Tale by John Whitman


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