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3,500 Abused Children Die In Developed Countries

3,500 children in developed countries die from abuse each year - UNICEF

Almost 3,500 children under the age of 15 die every year from physical abuse and neglect in developed nations, according to a new report on maltreatment published today by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, which brings together data on the abuse of youngsters from 27 developed countries, indicates that a small group of countries - Greece, Italy, Ireland, Norway and Spain - appear to have an exceptionally low incidence of child maltreatment death.

The United States, Mexico and Portugal have rates that are between 10 and 15 times higher, while Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Hungary and France reach levels that are four to six times higher.

"The thousands of children who die each year from violence in their homes, schools or communities are clear proof that the world has systematically failed to protect them," UNICEF said in launching the Report.

The Study makes an explicit connection between the problem of child abuse and the broader spectrum of violence against children. The countries with the lowest rates of child deaths from maltreatment also have low rates of adult deaths from assault.

Factors such as poverty, stress, drugs and alcohol abuse, are clearly linked with the thousands of children who die each year from violence in their homes, schools and communities.

"These children deserve to live in a protective environment - one that safeguards them from abuse and exploitation," UNICEF said.

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