In 2014 it was reported that The Asian Development Bank considered that an
appropriate extreme poverty rate for Asia would be US$1.51. This would mean
that 33% of the population live in hunger & suffer other forms of deprivation.
Consequences of extreme poverty are particularly suffered by women, girls &
children and can take the form of:
Parents selling or abandoning children
All forms of trafficking
Forced labour, unpaid excessive hours of work
Commercial sexual exploitation
Forced child marriage – UN estimates 130million girls in SE Asia will be
married between 2010 & 2030
Confinement to the place of employment
Withholding of wages & confiscation of identity documents.
Lack of education
In 2015 UNICEF and UNESCO found that 58 million children between the ages of 6 and 11did not have access to education. Children in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have th highest proportion of unschooled children. Female children make up around two-thirds of these numbers. Lack of education becomes a multi-generational problem that feeds practically all of the other issues listed on this page.
Lack of skills training
Women in some areas of Asia and PNG are brought up without thought to education or purpose apart from serving their fathers and then husbands. Skills training for women provides a transformative force within communities. It empowers women to have a voice in decision-maiking, elections and even public leadership. It expands their horizons towards employment and entrepreneurship.
HIV AIDS in the poorer countries
The UNAIDS Prevention Gap Report 2016 provides the following overview of the epidemic in the Asia Pacific Region :
There are 5.1 Million people living with HIV
There were 300,000 new HIV infections in the preceding 12 months
There were 180,000 Aids related deaths.
Thanks to recent improvements in drug treatments people with HIV can have a normal life expectancy provided they receive effective treatment before their immune system has been severely damaged – thus the importance of education.
Unfortunately these treatments are not available to the majority of suffers in theAsia Pacific Region.
Children at risk
In many Asian cities and rural areas, poverty is endemic and many families are simply unable to care for their children due to lack of nutrition, education, health care, clean water, sanitation and the many other basic needs we take for granted in the First World. We carefully select and support projects that directly assist children in the poorest areas.
Human trafficking victims
Following on from above, older children and young women frequently find themselves 'indentured' to houses of prostitution in areas far from their home. Sometimes they are promised honest work as housemaids, sometimes they are given to the 'agents' by desparate, destitute parents. In any of these cases, the outcomes for these victims is a short and cruel life, undeserved by them on every level.
Sex slavery (human trafficking)
The average age a teen enters the sex trade is 12 - 14 years old. Many victims have already been abused as children and jump from one form of abuse to another. Frequently they are tricked into prostitution with the offer of legitimate, well-paying jobs such as housemaids. The lifespan and outcomes for these women are not long or good.
Victimisation of women
In multiple areas, women are born into a society where victimisation of women is commonplace, societally accepted and State-endorsed. In rural areas, women are still considered chattel, without the right to self-determination according to both custom and law. Women's rights to the freedoms we take for granted in the Western World are severely restricted throughout developing countries in the name of modesty, protection and family 'honour'.