Millions of children still suffering, says UNICEF

Hundreds of millions of children around the world are still deprived of food, shelter, clean water and healthcare, according to the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF).

The agency claims that the rights of young girls are especially pressing, since they are less likely to attend school or receive essential healthcare.

Not only this, but they are more likely to become the victims of sexual violence, UNICEF claimed.

Ann Veneman, Unicef executive director, said it is "unacceptable" that children are still dying from preventable causes like pneumonia, malaria, measles and malnutrition.

She added: "Many of the world's children will never see the inside of a school room, and millions lack protection against violence, abuse, exploitation, discrimination and neglect."

According to the organisation, the annual number of deaths among under-fives has fallen from 12.5 million to 8.8 million in the 20 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed.

Some 70 countries have incorporated the convention into their national laws, while only the US and Somalia have failed to sign it.

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