Life for the children who have been left behind in Honduras, the second largest country in Central America, is deplorable. A significant number of these children live in conditions that deprive them of their civil, political, social, cultural, and economic rights as spelt out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Children (U.S Department of State). Typically, a Honduran child does not enjoy some of the rights that were meant to safeguard their survival, growth and development, as well as their protection from abuse, exploitation, and discrimination. These children do not enjoy family life, a situation which results in difficult social and cultural situations.
The challenges that Honduran children face begin at birth. Majority of these children are unregistered at birth and thus, they grow up unaccounted for. This is, of course, a violation of Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of Children, and the violation prompts several other challenges that make life really difficult for these children. The lack of official identity makes most of these children have difficulty in accessing vital services as well as opportunities that are available for a child growing up in a well-to-do family. At times, these children are exploited as they endeavor to make ends meet. Much of the exploitation is through forced labor, although there are instances when some of them have claimed to have been sexually exploited (Unicef). The two forms of exploitation are clear violations of the rights of children as the law requires such children to be protected and, possibly, be sent to school.
Many of the left behind children in Honduras lack clean and safe drinking water. As such, children suffer frequently from such communicable diseases as typhoid. Their problems are, consequently, aggravated by the lack of opportunity to access proper medical attention. These children also bore the blunt of the Honduran electricity crisis. Inadequate lighting increases the chances of these children spending the night in filthy places where they could acquire fungal infections (Unicef). Other challenges that are posed by darkness include insecurity, and this increases the vulnerability of young girls being raped or assaulted. Additionally, neglected children have been risking their lives as they engage in criminality after nightfall. Several of these young criminals have been killed by enraged property owners as well as other criminal gangs who seek to share the loot. Life in the street has proved to be challenging for those children that are left to fend for themselves. In this regard, it is necessary for the relevant authorities to join hands and alleviate this problem once and for all.
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The Future for the Honduran Neglected Children
There is little hope for a bright future as most of these children miss the opportunity to attend school. Additionally, not much is being done to avert the challenges that those children who come from the disadvantaged homes suffer. Nevertheless, some progress has been noticeable. For instance, the Honduran government is instituting strategies that are aimed at improving the general welfare of the citizenry, the neglected children being included. For instance, the government has made progress in the implementation of a national poverty eradication strategy, a situation which is hoped to improve the lives of the majority of Hondurans who are currently living on less than a dollar per day. The government has also made progress towards the reformation of the health sector (U.S Department of State). However, the quality of health care being availed to children, especially those that have been left behind, is still below the recommended standards. Moreover, many of these children suffer from chronic malnutrition. They, therefore, continue to experience health challenges and poor housing even after the government has initiated several ambitious programs that are meant to alleviate the problem.
The challenges that the left behind children in Honduras face have been aggravated by the recent global economic meltdown. Honduras, being so near to the United States, has suffered greatly as a significant number of the American companies went bankrupt. This development, coupled with the fact that Honduras is among the poorest nations in the Western hemisphere, has prompted untold suffering to a significant number of neglected children. Moreover, with the world still suffering from an economic meltdown, remittances from the parents who live in America and other places have drastically reduced, and this reduction is expected to remain until the crisis is over. Nevertheless, various stakeholders appreciate the need to alleviate the challenges that these children face so as to save Honduras from social difficulties in the future. In this case, remarkable progress is being made in Honduras (Unicef).