Thousands of Children in Sulawesi at Risk of Exploitation

Geneva – The U.N. children’s fund warns that tens of thousands of child survivors of the devastating earthquake and tsunami Friday in Sulawesi, Indonesia, are unprotected and vulnerable to exploitation.

UNICEF reports that children make up more than one-third of the population of Central Sulawesi, and 43 percent of the children live in poverty. In addition, many suffer from chronic malnutrition or stunting, a condition makes children more prone to disease and infection and impairs their physical and mental development.

UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac says the agency is concerned about the children who have been orphaned or separated from their parents by the disaster, which has killed more than 1,400 people and displaced 70,000 others.

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