Children all over the world have better lives than 20 years ago


Hundreds of millions of children have better than they did 20 years ago reported Save the Children charity. Norway is near the top, but behind Singapore and Sweden.

The Global Childhood Report, which will be published next week, shows that 173 of the 176 countries surveyed have been able to facilitate better and safer childhoods for the past 20 years.

The report looks at conditions such as children’s access to health care, school, and nutrition, as well as how vulnerable children are to child labour, death in childbirth and war.

The reason why Norway is in a shared third place together with Finland and Slovenia is that Singapore at first place,and Sweden in second place have lower school drop-out rates and fewer teenage pregnancies than Norway.

At the bottom of the list are the Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Mali, South Sudan, and Somalia. The only three places where children’s lives have got worse are Syria, Venezuela, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Save the Children pointed out that especially some of the countries at the very bottom have shown the greatest progress. This applies, for example, to Niger, the second to last on the list, who have managed to double the number of children attending school within the past 20 years.

Something to celebrate

‘’Never have so many children had it as good as now. Children are healthier and more go to school than ever before. Behind the progress lies a formidable effort from governments, NGOs, the UN, and enthusiasts at all levels and in all countries. It’s really something to celebrate’’ said Secretary General, Birgitte Lange of Save the Children.

According to the report, the situation in 2000 was that 970 million children were robbed of a happy childhood because of conditions such as childbirth, early pregnancy, lack of schooling, illness, malnutrition or violence and war. The fact that the figure in 2019 has fallen to 690 million means that 280 million children have a better life today than they would have had just 20 years ago.

War destroys

Of the eight factors that destroy childhood, there is only one figure pointing in the wrong direction: The number of children on the run because of war and conflict has increased by 80% over the past two decades.

But even though progress has been significant in most countries, hundreds of millions of children are still having their lives destroyed. One in four children still do not have access to school, food, protection or health care.

‘’Particularly vulnerable are children who live in areas of war and conflict, or who are fleeing their homes. We must continue to work hard to ensure that these children also get the childhood they deserve’’ Lange said.

Biggest progress

The countries that have been the most successful are Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Niger, and Rwanda in particular came out positively.

There, life has improved for children in most areas.

The number of children who die before the age of five was reduced by 79%, and the country has halved child labour, teenage births and killing of children. More children go to school, and fewer have to get married before they are 18.

In Niger, the number of children who die before the age of five was reduced by 62%, and in Sierra Leone the number of children on the run was reduced by 99%.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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