Netherlands drops to 15th place on KidsRights Index; below Thailand, Tunisia
The Netherlands fell in the KidsRights Index for the second year in a row. Last year the Netherlands dropped from 2nd place to 13th place, and this year the country dropped another two spots to 15th place. Less prosperous countries like Thailand and Tunisia are now ahead of the Netherlands in the Children's Rights Rankings, NOS reports.
The rankings were drawn up by international children's rights organization KidsRights and the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In addition to looking at existing children's rights in countries around the world, the rankings also look at what countries are doing to improve children's rights.
This year's rankings show that the Netherlands still has to improve on many of the same points as last year, according to NOS. Not all children have equal access to youth care since the municipalities took over responsibility for it. A large number of kids are growing up in poverty. And families with low income are affected most by budget cuts.
Vulnerable children should be the first to benefit from the improving Dutch economy, Marc Dullaert of KidsRights said. The former children's ombudsman called this an important task for the new Dutch government. "By continuing to invest in children and families living in poverty, you prevent poverty passing on from generation to generation." He also called it important that children are consulted on issues that involve them. "Let children talk and decide on matters that concern them," he said according to the broadcaster.
Portugal is the country with the best children's rights in the world, according to the rankings. In addition to Thailand and Tunisia, the top 10 on the KidsRights Index also includes Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Spain, France, Sweden and Finland.
The researchers noted that rich countries don't automatically perform better than other countries. For example, the United Kingdom and New Zealand are at the bottom of the list with a number of African countries, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea. Industrialized countries invest too little in children's rights. While some poor countries contribute a relatively large proportion of their resources into protecting children.
KidsRights calls this an alarming phenomenon. According to the organization, rich Western countries should be the leaders in protecting their children.