Childhood circumstances have improved in 173 countries: study | News | DW | 29.05.2019
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Childhood circumstances have improved in 173 countries: study

At least 280 million children across the globe are better off today than they were two decades ago, according to Save the Children. However, a quarter of the world's youngsters are still denied a safe childhood.

Child advocacy group Save the Children said Tuesday that circumstances for children have improved in all but three of the 176 countries it evaluated in its annual Global Childhood Report.

The humanitarian organization, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding earlier this month, said that at least 280 million children, or one in eight, were better off today than they were in the year 2000. However, one in four children are still denied the right to a childhood, the report found.

"There has been remarkable progress if you look across the world," Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles said at a briefing on the report's findings.

Launched ahead of International Children's Day on June 1, the report found that there was a 49% drop in deaths of children under the age of 5, a 40% drop in child labor, a 33% drop in chronic malnutrition and stunting, a 25% drop in child marriage and a 17% drop in child homicides.

Eight European nations in the top 10

Singapore ranks as the country that best protects and provides for its children, followed by Sweden, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, South Korea and Belgium. The Central African Republic is where children are most threatened, followed by Niger and Chad.

However, Niger was one of the countries that made the most progress, along with Rwanda, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. The improvement, according to Save the Children, "showed that political choices can matter more than national wealth."

Miles said only one of the eight indicators Save the Children looked at rose: There was an 80% increase in children living in or fleeing conflict zones between 2000-2018, a "very significant" increase.

An estimated 420 million children are living in conflict zones, more than double the number in 1995. Nearly 31 million children today have been forcibly displaced from their homes.

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dv/se (AP, KNA)

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