Guyana, 2015

Guyana is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. A third of its population is descended from African slaves, imported by the Dutch to work on sugar plantations. Around half are the descendants of indentured Indian agricultural workers brought in by the British after slavery was abolished.

Roughly 43% of Guyana’s population lives below the poverty line and 29% classified as ‘extremely poor’ with indigenous people comprising the biggest fraction of those affected. Poverty in Guyana affects both the urban slums and indigent farming communities. Both communities suffer from inadequate healthcare and poor educational facilities.

An increasing rate of children, especially boys, abandon their schooling in order to work and fulfill their responsibility to their families’ economic situation. Amerindian children also suffer from discrimination: their living conditions, the degradation of their natural habitat, and the fact that education is not offered in their native language, prevent their rights as written in the Convention from being completely fulfilled.