Human Rights Abuses

“We are all born free and equal.” —Article 1, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Youth for Human Rights International maintains that children who do not know their rights are vulnerable and easy prey for ill-intended individuals. Statistics of loss of dignity and life through child abuse, gang violence, child labor and child soldiers are staggeringly high.

The following are current statistics in five key areas of human rights abuse.

Child abuse—40 million children below the age of 15 suffer from abuse and neglect. (United Nations Children’s Fund, 2008)

Gang violence—100 percent of cities with populations greater than or equal to 250,000 reported gang activity. (US Department of Justice)

Child labor—246 million children, one in every six children aged 5 to 17, are involved in child labor. (International Labour Organization, 2002)

Child soldiers—UNICEF estimates that more than 300,000 children under 18 are currently being exploited in over thirty armed conflicts worldwide.

While the majority of child soldiers are between the ages of 15 and 18, some are as young as 7 or 8 years of age. (US Department of State, 2005)

Human trafficking—It is estimated that there are 27 million people in the world today who are enslaved.

Every year 600,000 to 800,000 persons are trafficked across international borders. (US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, 2006)

More on human trafficking