UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new U.N. report says 57 million children around the world are not going to school, and half live in conflict-affected countries.
The report says the number of children of primary school age who are not getting an education fell from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011. But during that period the percentage of young people in conflict-affected countries who weren’t at primary school rose from 42 percent to 50 percent.
The report says most of the 28.5 million children who aren’t getting a primary school education live in low and lower-middle income countries. And girls make up more than half of the total and are often the victims of rape and other sexual violence that accompanies armed conflicts.
UNESCO and Save the Children released the study ahead of Friday’s first public appearance at the United Nations by Malala Yousafzai (mah-LAH’-lah yoo-SOOF’-zeye), the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education of girls. She’ll address more than 500 young leaders from around the world at a Youth Assembly.
The U.N. has declared July 12 — her 16th birthday — as “Malala Day.”