Guinea-Bissau is a small country in West Africa with a population of about two million people. It borders Senegal, Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The country gained independence from Portugal in 1974. Since then it has suffered through multiple coups and conflicts, which have weakened the economy and lead to political instability.
The country relies heavily on agriculture and remains relatively poor.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Guinea-Bissau since 1994.
Multidimensional poverty measures poverty not just based on income, but also as to what other goods and services people cannot access. This may include things such as housing, education or clean water.
75% of children in Guinea-Bissau experience three or more deprivations and 52% suffer four deprivations at the same time.
Children who grow up in poverty often don’t have the food, sanitation, shelter, health care or education they need to not just survive but also thrive.
Guinea-Bissau banned all forms of female genital mutilation (FGM). However, in recent years there has been a rise in occurrences.
The World Health Organization defines FGM as “the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”
FGM is a harmful practice that violates the rights and negatively impacts the well-being of girls. It can be seen as a direct manifestation of gender inequality.
Most children in Guinea-Bissau have certain obligations to fulfil. Either at home, the fields or on the streets.
Child labour can result in physical and mental harm, and sometimes even death. It can lead to slavery and sexual or economic exploitation. In nearly every case, it prevents children from attending school and receiving health care. This restricts their fundamental rights and threatens their futures.