Child poverty in third world countries as the problem of ‘’child poverty’’ has been transmuted into problem of ‘’overpopulation’’, so have the conscience been mollified. Industrialized countries no longer feel so acutely confident in making sacrifices in order to alleviate third world countries poverty with food, shelter, infrastructure, and the means to develop third world countries economies. Decades of developed countries support to third world countries have ended up in the pockets of power elites, rebel groups and other wrong hands while the intended beneficiaries (children ) remains victimized. Millions of children in third world countries live in hazardous, poor conditions. The developed nation’s strategy for combating child poverty in third world countries is to ban products produced by child labor. Often, these bans worsen the plight of children in third world countries for example:
a. Many poor families depend on their children’s incomes and sent their children to work out of need rather than malice.
b. The United Nations children fund found that 5,000 – 7,000 Nepalese girls moved from the carpet industry to prostitution as a result of such bans.
Another strategy proposed by developed countries is to raise the minimum wage in third world countries, but other economists are suggesting that the increase in minimum wage ‘’in third world countries’’ would encourage more children to drop out of schools to work since their guarantee wage is higher. Economist Kaushik Basu concluded that primary problem with child labor in third world countries is that jobs are menial and do not require a high level of skill. Consequently, children make good substitutes for adults. Basu finds evidence that if an economy is trapped in this type of child labor trop, a concreted effort to educate one generation can help breaks or reduce the rate.
Difficulties faced by children in third world countries
Sweatshop and children- When Harvard University economist Jeffery D. Saches was recently asked weather there were too many sweetshop in poor nations, he replied that concern was ‘’not that there are too many sweetshops, but that there are too few.’’
Many others economists are also coming to recognize that low wage plants overseas making clothing and shoes for export to America and other industrialized world markets are actually providing an important service to their works. These plants are a necessary first steps toward prosperity in developing countries. According to Economist Jeffery D. Sachs, these types of jobs eventually lead to prosperity in Hong Kong and Singapore and are what is now needed in Africa to facilitate the transition to increase prosperity from today’s backbreaking poverty in third world countries. According to another economist ‘’Paul Krugman of the Massachusetts institute of technology’’, even in a nation as corrupt as Indonesia, Industrialization originally based on sweetshop has reduced the portion of malnourished children from more than half in 1973 to one third today.
Krugman says the overwhelming mainstream view among economists is that the growth of this kind of employment is tremendous good news for third world counties. When American corporations cut their ties to sweetshop in response to media criticism, the victims are the very poor people in third world children.
Child abuse and exploitation in third world countries
Children around the world are affected in different ways. In third world countries, children in most violent conflict areas are used as child soldiers. In 2000, an estimated 1.7 million civilians died in conflicts in the eastern part of the democratic republic of Congo. One third of the amount was children under fire. Children in violent conflict zones are usually exploited and abused usually, relief agencies, donor organizations, and other humanitarian groups carried the burden of children who are desensitized to violence. Particularly true in areas where there are child soldiers – children for whom violence is their normal way of addressing the ordinary challenges of life.
Lack of Education
Lack of education _ study after study has demonstrated that education for girls is one of the best strategies for breaking the hold of poverty. Educated girls have greater confidence to make decisions for them. They marry later in life and are more likely to space up their pregnancies. As a result, they tend to have fewer children and are more likely to seek medical attention for themselves and their children. They are better informed about good nutrition and child care. Women who were educated as girls are more likely to enroll their own children in primary school. Educating children, especially, particularly girls, is therefore a critical part of breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty
Bad economy- As with social indicators, the average income gap between third world countries and other developing countries has a vital role to play in poverty alleviation in third world countries. There are wide regional differences in the economic performance of third world countries. Bangladesh strongly influences the average for the least developed countries because it accounts for one fifth of the group’s total population and one fourth of the group’s GDP. Excluding Bangledesh, the annual average growth rate in per capital income in third world countries was very low.
Investment in basic social service has a direct impact on children and mothers. At the world summit for children ( in third world countries) in 1990, governments and donors committed themselves to ensuring that ‘’ programmers aimed at achievement of goals for the survival, protection and development of children will have a priority when resources are allocated.’’ In the same year at the United Nations conference on third would countries, donors made commitment to increase their share of official development assistance to third would countries. Aid accounts for a large portion of third would countries external resources. Even small decreases in official development assistance, therefore, can have a profound impact, particularly on resources on social development. Third world countries also suffer from internal inefficiencies in resource allocation. Spending on defense and dept servicing remains high. Most analysts agreed that income inequalities exacerbate poverty, rapid economic growth, even when combined with increased social spending, may not be enough to combat – poverty in third world countries.
Lack of infrastructure
Conflict in most third world countries has set progress back, destroying physical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and buildings as well as crops, water systems and the natural environment. Millions of people have been displaced, disrupting social and economic life. Worst of all, violent conflict is devastating to human lives – particularly to children. Between 1990 up to present, more than 20 of the third world countries have been affected by violent conflicts. All of the third world countries with the highest rate of child mortality are categorized as least developed countries (LCDs) and most are affected by arm conflict. Over the past decade, over 2 million children have fallen victim to violent conflict around the world. A large percent of the number is believed to be from third world countries
Unavailable health care
The past decade saw much progress in the areas of health care and nutrition in third world countries. The oral dehydration therapy has reduced deaths from diarrhea dehydration; immunization coverage has increased; and the promotion of breast feeding has improved child survival. There has been great success in campaigns to eradicate polio and eliminate deficiencies in micro- nutrients such as iodine and vitamin A. Yet levels of child malnutrition and maternal mortality remain high, and child mortality from AIDs- related causes is increasing and is protected to worsen in the countries (amongst third world countries) most, affected in the 1990’s governments in third world countries spend on average percent of their national budgets on all levels of health, including basic health care although the range of spending differed from country to country. Zambia, for example, spent 13 per cent of its budgets on health while other third world countries government spends considerably less than 5 per cent. These low levels of expenditure on basic social services must be significantly increased or child deaths will remain high in third world countries.
Insufficient health care Providers
In many third world countries, disease and hunger are not only existent, but also a way of life. Disease and hunger happen in third world countries because of natural disasters and of epidemics. Due to economic problems, shortage of educated health care workers and supplies to repair damages, the populations of some third world countries are left hungry, sick, wounded, or dead. Imagine the devastation of being without shelter, clan drinking water, having violent fevers due to the body being invaded by parasites, caused by a vicious disease and being without medical care for as long as two years. Imagine the disparity and helplessness of watching a child withering away after contracting AIDS and its die from pain, illness, or malnutrition. Many third world countries suffer such problems, but
Health care and service provides are neither available to them nor existent in these cases, outside sources, such as relief groups, humanitarian organizations and wealthy countries step in to help these (third world) countries. Even under normal circumstances, health care and services are scarce for most third world countries. In fact, in most part of Africa, up to thirty –six percent of adults have HIV. The percentage of children is enormous as twelve and a half million children have lost their parents to AIDS.
Children in third world countries remain high among the most vulnerable in the world. Most indicators confirm that they face serious disadvantages in the realm of economic and social development. However, examples in this paper show it is possible to improve the coverage and quality of social services for children in third world countries. The pay-off of interventions “by industrialized Countries”- ensuring long term economic growth in third world countries, achieving the social goals and realizing the rights of every child in third world country, makes investing in third world children an economic sense.
Viewed against the global flow of resources, comparatively modest amounts are needed to help turn the tide of favor of children in third world countries. The budgets of third world countries are stretched past the breaking point in the effort to reduce poverty in third world countries, address the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other potential hazard. Clearly, without an urgent and increase in financing for development and far-reaching policy reforms, few third world countries are likely to meet the international development targets set for the year 2015.
Sam K Zinnah