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UNICEF estimates 500,000 children used trafficker’s services to reach Europe illegally

The estimate is based on data from Europol, Interpol and information from other UN agencies, EFE news reported

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Children in India, (representational image) Wikimedia
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September 3, 2016: At least 500,000 children have used the services of traffickers to enter Europe illegally since January 2015, says the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report, that was released on Friday.

The estimate is based on data from Europol, Interpol and information from other UN agencies, EFE news reported.

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UNICEF spokeswoman Sarah Crowe explained that the calculation is based on the fact that nearly 590,000 minors have filed an application for asylum in the European Union in those 18 months.

As many as 100,000 of these asylum applications were filed by unaccompanied children, although Crowe added that the figure should be higher because of the different registration systems in countries.

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Given this figure and the fact that Europol-Interpol believes that 90 per cent of journeys made by refugees inEuropeare done with the help of traffickers,Unicef has concluded that half a million children used their services.

Interpol estimates that human trafficking earns between $5-6 billion a year. (IANS)

 

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Growth Hormone Deficiency May Also Hit Healthy Children

Since he started getting these injections two years ago, Spencer has grown about 15 centimeters.

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FILE - UNICEF staff measure a girl's height to see if she is stunted in a village health clinic of South Hamgyong province, North Korea. VOA

Most healthy children between the ages of four and 10 grow about five centimeters (two inches) a year. So, one family knew something was wrong when their son fit into the same clothes, season after season. Doctors were able to get him growing once again after testing for a growth hormone.

Eleven year-old Spencer Baehman is passionate about baseball.

“My goal is to play college baseball,” Spencer said.

There was only one problem. Spencer was the shortest player on his team. It didn’t stop him from playing, but the height difference was noticeable. And it made Spencer feel different.

“I want to be as tall as these kids,” Spencer said.

At first, Spencer’s parents thought their son was just small, but gradually, they suspected something was wrong. His mom, Stephanie Baehman, became worried.

“It really set in one year coming out of winter into spring when he got out his cleats for spring baseball and he put them on, and they fit. And they never should have fit. Those were from the spring prior,” Baehman said.

Spencer’s parents set up an appointment with Dr. Bert Bachrach, the chief of pediatric endocrinology at University of Missouri Health Care. Nurses measured Spencer’s height.

After careful testing, Dr. Bachrach determined a growth hormone deficiency was causing Spencer’s growth failure. Hormones are basically chemicals that send messages from one cell to another.

“Growth hormone just doesn’t affect your growth, it affects your muscle mass and fat distribution, so that affects your cholesterol, that affects you overall, it also affects your overall sense of wellbeing,” Bachrach said.

Young Kids learning
Young Kids learning. pixabay

Growth hormone insufficiency is a disorder involving the pituitary gland which is a small, pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain. It’s this gland that produces human growth hormone, among others.

Also Read: Poor Aerobic Fitness Increases Risk of Diabetes in Kids

Every day, Spencer’s mother gives him a daily hormone injection. Since he started getting these injections two years ago, Spencer has grown about 15 centimeters (six inches). But just in case he doesn’t grow tall, he has a reminder written in each of his baseball caps.

“It says HDMH, which means height doesn’t measure heart,” Spencer read.

And heart is something Spencer has plenty of. (VOA)