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UNICEF Report Sees 'Childhood Under Threat' Worldwide

A new United Nations report says half the world's population of children - more than one billion - are growing up hungry, unhealthy and unsafe.

The annual report was released Thursday by UNICEF - the U.N. children's agency.

The agency's director, Carol Bellamy, says governments worldwide have failed to live-up to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child by not meeting it's commitment to provide a healthy, protected and decent childhood for every human being.

The report says more than 700 million children lack adequate shelter, safe water, food, health care and education.

The UNICEF report adds that despite some progress in fighting violence against children, hundreds of thousands of minors are still recruited as child soldiers. The document also expresses concern about war crimes against children, including rape.

The report says the global HIV/AIDS pandemic has had an especially devastating impact on children's physical and emotional well-being because - among other things - the illness takes away a minor's protective network of adults.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.