Updated: Apr 1, 2022
It is hard to believe the number of children whose parents have died, are unknown or have permanently abandoned them.
If we could only adopt them all and make them the happiest kids in the world, if we had all the resources to give them a safe place to live in, food, education, access to quality medical care, hygiene, and the resources they deserve to have a good life.
What are the countries with the highest number of children living without their parents?
According to UNICEF, there were nearly 148 million orphans globally in 2019, including 63 million in Asia, 54 million in Africa, 12 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 9.3 million in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
We created a list of 10 countries with the highest orphan population with the help of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation.
India: 31 million kids.
Devastating statistics show that 9% of all children in India are orphaned, while 70 million are child laborers, 10 million are bonded laborers, 13 million are homeless, 2 million live on the streets, and over two million are orphaned due to AIDS. All this makes India a country where children are extremely vulnerable and exposed to different forms of abuse.
2. China: 20.6 million kids.
The one-child policy in China, which was introduced in 1979 to slow down population growth, had left millions of children orphaned.
3. Nigeria: 12 million kids.
In Nigeria, almost a million children become orphaned annually, mainly because of AIDS and poverty. Girls often end up in a cycle of prostitution without any protection from diseases, including HIV. Child trafficking is widespread in the country.
4. Bangladesh: 4.8 million kids.
It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. One-third of all children are parentless. They are placed in overcrowded orphanages due to the lack of Non-profit Organizations. Moreover, the number of children living on the streets is increasing, they are struggling to survive in harsh conditions surrounded by everyday violence.
5. Ethiopia: 4.8 million kids.
One out of every 8 children is an orphan. Although for years Ethiopia has been one of the countries from which the greatest number of children is being adopted, the orphan crisis won’t end soon, as the rate at which children are losing parents greatly exceeds the adoption rate.
6. Indonesia: 4.8 million kids.
Poverty, along with natural calamities, has left many children in Indonesia without parental care. Only in the tsunami in 2005, 150,000 children lost their parents.
7. Congo: 4.2 million kids.
In a country where armed conflict has taken more lives than Holocaust, children are the most vulnerable group. Around 11% of the total child population are orphaned due to war, poverty, and diseases. Besides facing great risk of poverty and exploitation, orphans in Congo living in the streets, often end up as child soldiers forced to fight in the civil war.
8. Pakistan: 4.2 million kids.
More than half of the population lives in poverty, many parents abandon their children because they can’t raise them. Moreover, a series of natural calamities and other factors like ethnic killings or terrorism have left many children parentless.
9. Brazil: 3.7 million kids.
Two main reasons for children becoming orphans in Brazil are poverty and AIDS. Many orphans end up living on the streets with no protection at all and at risk of falling into substance abuse. Apart from not having access to education and health care, these children are often easy prey for criminals and drug dealers who use them as a “cheap” working force.
10. South Africa: 3.5 million kids.
In the country that has the highest number of HIV-infected people, almost half of all orphans lost their parents to the AIDS-related condition. They are normally adopted by foreigners.
The numbers are shocking not only in those countries but all over the world. We all can help change their lives by supporting different non-profit organizations that are in charge of making their paths happier.
If you would like to plan a volunteering trip to any of these countries to either to Solo-Volunteering or organize it with to go with your friends, we recommend you to join our 4-week program BECOMING AN INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER, where we'll guide you through the process.
The world needs us and we can help in many ways, if we unite our efforts and ideas, the transformation can be much bigger!
See you on the next post and on Social Media!
Wishing you always the best,