KidsRights Index 2019: Inadequate priority for children’s rights in developed countries

Amsterdam, May 14th – There is still a significant gap between international children’s rights and the daily reality of children around the world. Even in developed countries the priority for children’s rights is inadequate. This is demonstrated by the KidsRights Index 2019 published today by the international children’s rights organization KidsRights and the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Remarkable are the results of the United Kingdom and New Zealand. They ranked 170 and 169 on the list of 181 researched countries.

Iceland ranks first in the international rankings and is followed in the top five by Portugal (2), Switzerland (3), Finland (4) and Germany (5). Thailand (14) and Tunisia (15) score well too for children’s rights worldwide. Afghanistan (181), Sierra Leone (180), Chad (179), Equatorial Guinea (178) and the Central African Republic (177) are the lowest countries in the rankings. The index is an annual ranking that measures to what extent children’s rights are respected worldwide, and specially which efforts these 181 ranked countries are enacting to improve the rights of children.

It is especially striking that some economically developed countries, such as the UK and New Zealand, score poorly on the basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). These principles include: non-discrimination, acting in the child’s best interests, child participation and having a basic policy infrastructure for children’s rights. The UK and New Zealand’s low rankings are attributed to discrimination against children from minority groups such as refugees or migrants. As well as concerns that the views of children, especially children from a poorer social background, are systematically not being heard in policymaking on issues that affect them and, insufficient investment in children’s rights.

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