The Netherlands falls 30 places on the Child Rights Index internal

The Netherlands is under international scrutiny due to persistent problems with youth care and poor air quality for children. Our country ranks 37th worldwide when it comes to “a favorable climate for children’s rights” and we are only 28th in “health”.

This is evidenced by the tenth Children’s Rights Index published today in collaboration with Erasmus University. The Netherlands ends up in fourth place in the international index this year, if all aspects are taken into account. In this way, all children get quality education and health care according to the latest ideas. But the other side of the coin is that our governments are not properly reaching the most vulnerable children. They are also unable to prevent their problems.

“We only stick stickers when things go wrong,” is the harsh criticism of former children’s ombudsman and KidsRights CEO Mark Dollart. He describes it as “extremely painful” to fall behind when it comes to a climate conducive to children’s rights. The Netherlands has even fallen from third to 37th place in ten years.


Very embarrassing, this crisis situation

Mark Dollart, Founder and Chairman of KidsRights

Fingers crossed several times

Dullaert: “The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has repeatedly reprimanded our country for the safety of children at risk. Because of the shortage of youth protectors, we are constantly faced with waiting lists. There is also a debate about money. Meanwhile, some regions are no longer able to help children in need on Launch. Very embarrassing, this tense situation.”

According to Dolart, the Dutch government also does not apply the best interests of the child in all kinds of procedures. “For example, during Corona, children were used only to keep parents at home. With out-of-home placements, sometimes a child is allowed to express an opinion, but sometimes they are not allowed at all.” Moreover, child poverty is now increasing rapidly.

The Netherlands is also a leader in Europe in terms of air pollution: one in five children suffers from asthma. This is largely due to car emissions. But according to the Children’s Rights Index, the problem also shows a “socio-economic watershed”: children of higher socioeconomic status attend schools with better air purification and better air quality than “poorer” children.


The situation of future generations in the coming decades is very worrying

Mark Dollart, Founder and Chairman of KidsRights

Climate change

In any case, climate change poses a “clear and present” danger to children around the world, according to the 10th Children’s Rights Index released today. Nearly half of the world’s children — one billion — are at high risk of becoming seriously ill, according to decision-makers. Think water scarcity, heat waves and floods. It is alarming that nearly 90 percent of all children in the world are exposed to air pollution.

“With climate change continuing to intensify, the situation for future generations in the coming decades is deeply troubling,” said Mark Dollart, founder and president of KidsRights. He called on governments around the world to invest in children and their long-term future, “for the sake of planet Earth”.

“This year’s report is alarming for our current and future generations. Not much progress has been made in the standard of living of children during the past decade. The recent Corona pandemic has exacerbated the situation of children. The rapidly changing climate now threatens their future and their basic rights.”

It got worse

In 2022, the Netherlands will be in fourth place in the Children’s Rights Index. The leader is Iceland, followed by Sweden and Finland. Chad hangs at the bottom, followed by Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. The report’s authors also noted that the situation in the group of lower-ranking countries – such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Papua New Guinea – had deteriorated.

The Children’s Rights Index, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, also reveals that the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the loss of 286,000 children under the age of five. The report further indicates that the situation could become much worse than what is currently evident, as the full impact of the pandemic cannot be measured yet.

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