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Guinea-Bissau is one of the smallest countries in the African continent, neighbouring with Senegal on the North and with Guinea on the South part of the country, with the Atlantic Ocean coastline on the East. The country is one of ten poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world, according to the UN Human Development Report (2016) and ranked on 175 position out of 188, where two out of three Bissau Guineans remain below in abject poverty and where 25% of kids under 5 years old – suffer from malnutrition (World Bank Research 2017) and 9% - die before reaching the fifth anniversary (World Bank Research 2017).
The young and growing population of Guinea-Bissau is supported by high fertility, where approximately 60% of the population is under 25 years old. The total fertility rate is more than four children per woman compensates the high rates of infant and maternal mortality in the country. The latter is one of the highest in the world (18th in the world, according to the Central Intellectual Agency) due to the prevalence of early childbearing, the absence of intervals between births, the high proportion of births outside medical institutions and the shortage of medicines and relevant supplies.
The mainstay of the country's economy is agriculture, the export of cashew nuts and foreign aid.
The history of political instability in Guinea-Bissau, the Civil War and several political upheavals (the latest in 2012) led the country to a fragile state with a weak economy, high unemployment rate, rampant corruption, widespread poverty and a flourishing trade of drugs and children.

The Country lacks Educational Infrastructure, School funding and teaching materials, as well as qualified teachers; this is why parents often send Boys to study in religious schools (Koran schools) in Senegal and Gambia. Guinea-Bissau is the source country of children who are endlessly subjected to forced labour and sexual trafficking; boys are forced into street sales and to manual labour, to agricultural labour and mining in Senegal, while girls can also be forced into street sales, home services and, to a lesser extent, prostitution in Guinea and Senegal.
© Mila for Africa 2017
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