According to UNICEF, there are 153 million children across the globe who are defined as orphans. These children, and others, are at risk for poverty, health concerns, neglect, and abuse. They are the world’s orphans. Read on to learn about how children can become orphans, what it means to be an orphan, and how underlying social problems lead to children being orphaned.
NO EASY DEFINITION
The definition of an orphan is not just a child who has lost both parents–instead, many international bodies recognize as orphans children who have lost one or both parents. Moreover, orphans aren’t necessarily children who are in need of homes. Many orphans live with grandparents, aunts or uncles, or other family members.
HOW DO CHILDREN BECOME ORPHANED?
There are countless ways that children can lose one or both parents, or be put in a position where they don’t have support. It’s almost impossible to make a full list, but some of the most pressing and prevalent include children in refugee camps from war and conflict, poverty or abandonment, family turmoil, or social isolation. Each of these problems comes with its own challenges and requires unique resources and approaches, and many orphans can face more than one of these challenges.