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Discrimination against children impacts their education, health, and access to government resources

New York/Lagos - 18 November 2022 – Discrimination against children based on ethnicity, language, and religion are rife in countries worldwide, according to a new UNICEF report published ahead of World Children’s Day.

Rights denied: The impact of discrimination on children shows the extent to which racism and discrimination impact children’s education, health, access to a registered birth, and a fair and equal justice system, and highlights widespread disparities among minority and ethnic groups.

“Systemic racism and discrimination put children at risk of deprivation and exclusion that can last a lifetime,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “This hurts us all. Protecting the rights of every child – whoever they are, wherever they come from – is the surest way to build a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world for everyone.”

Among the new findings, the report shows that children from marginalized ethnic, language and religious groups in an analysis of 22 countries lag far behind their peers in reading skills. On average, students aged 7-14 from the most advantaged group are more than twice as likely to have foundational reading skills than those from the least advantaged group.

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