Unicef on children’s future prospects: Norway at the top and bottom

New Year illustrationNew Year illustration .Children: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

While Norway tops the list of children’s chances of good health, we are almost at the bottom when it comes to protecting children’s rights to a sustainable environment in the future.

Unicef, the World Health Organization (WHO) and The Lancet have set up a commission of 40 experts on child and adolescent health, which together form the report “A Future for the World’s Children?”.

In the report, 180 countries are ranked according to what opportunities children have in the future, ranging from children’s survival, well-being, health, education and nutrition, to sustainability, justice and income gaps.

“It is time to rethink the health of children, a new age where every government ensures that children’s well-being comes first and foremost,” said UNICEF Norway Secretary-General Camilla Viken.

On children’s health globally, she pointed out that despite enormous improvement over the last 20 years, the development has stagnated and, in the worst case scenario, can be reversed.

“Climate change, harmful marketing and being overweight are some of the newer and biggest threats to our children, threats that only a few generations back were unthinkable,” says Viken.

Norway’s rankings
All in all, no country in the world is capable of everything: to adequately protect children’s health, the environment and the future, according to the report. Norway tops the list of children’s chances of good health, ahead of South Korea and the Netherlands.

Denmark is in 6th place and Sweden in 13th place.

When it comes to Norway’s ability to protect children’s rights to a good climate in the future, Norway is almost at the bottom at 156th place on the list, with the Netherlands as 160th and South Korea in 16th place.

Norway emits 212 per cent more CO2 per capita than the target set for 2030. Denmark ranks 135th, with 122 per cent more CO2 emissions per capita than the target for 2030, while Sweden ranks 116th, 55 per cent above its emission target. .

Obesity trend
The report also highlights children’s diet as a threat to children’s health now, where the extreme marketing of unhealthy food and drink aimed at children and the exposure of such advertising are linked to the huge increase in overweight children worldwide.

Worldwide, in 2016 there were eleven times more obese children compared to 1975 – from 11 million to 124 million.

A Unicef report on child malnutrition from last year placed Norway among the countries that have seen an increasing trend among obese children.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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