Climate change threatens a billion children: NGO

Climate change threatens a billion children (NGO)


The effects of climate change threaten a billion children and overall living standards for minors around the world have not improved over the past decade, the NGO said on Wednesday KidsRights. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on minors, sometimes deprived of food or medicine due to disruptions in the health sector, leading to the death of some 286,000 children under five, said the Dutch NGO in an annual study.

Published each year, the “KidsRights Index” ranks 185 countries according to their respect for the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, based on data from the UN.

Iceland, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands occupy the first places in the 2022 ranking, closed by the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Chad.

The 2022 study is “alarming for our current and future generations of children,” Marc Dullaert, founder and president of KidsRights, said in a statement.

“A rapidly changing climate now threatens their future and their fundamental rights”, underlined Mr. Dullaert.

“There has been no significant progress in the standard of living of children over the last decade and, in addition, their livelihoods have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

For the first time in two decades, the number of working children rose to 160 million, an increase of 8.4 million over the past four years, according to the “KidsRights Index”, compiled with the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.

However, the study welcomes the progress made by some countries. Angola has more than halved under-five mortality, while Bangladesh has nearly halved the number of underweight under-fives. Bolivia, for its part, has almost halved its number of accidents involving children at work.

Second last year, Switzerland has fallen to 31st place “due to the insufficient implementation by the country of the principle of the “best interests of the child” in decisions affecting children”, underlined the NGO.

Other countries have been singled out by the report, including Nigeria, 175th, for high rate of maternal deaths during childbirth, and Montenegro, 49th, due to low immunization rate.