Monday 21 May 2018

Revealed: Ireland is among the 10 best countries in the world to have a childhood

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Daniel O'Connor

Ireland has been named one of the ten best countries for children to grow up and live in, a new report has said.

Ireland was ranked 7th out of 173 countries as part The ‘End of Childhood’ index compiled by charity Save the Children.

According to the report, Ireland shows no moderate or severe risks to children overall in areas studied such as mortality rates, out-of-school rates, adolescents currently in a union or child homicide rates.

Rankings were determined by examining a level of performance over eight areas: under-5 mortality, malnutrition that stunts growth, out-of-school children, child labour, early marriage, adolescent births, displacement by conflict and child homicide.

The index concluded that Ireland was one of 37 countries worldwide that has ‘few children at risk of missing out on childhood’.

Ireland ranked above the United Kingdom (22nd) and the United States (36th), while Norway and Slovenia joint topped the list.

The report was compiled to highlight the ‘700 million’ children worldwide who Save The Children say have had their childhood ended too soon.

A total of 263 million children are currently out of school, while 168 million children are involved in some form of child labour, the report says.

The report also highlights teenage childbirth as a particular risk to childhood, with 17 million girls giving birth annually, “forcing them to assume adult responsibilities and putting their health, education and economic prospects at risk,” the report claims.

West African country Niger was ranked the country where children were at the worst risk of childhood ending prematurely, with the bottom 20 consisting entirely of African countries.

The top 10 best countries to have a childhood:

1. Norway, Slovenia (tie)

3. Finland

4. Netherlands, Sweden (tie)

6. Portugal

7. Ireland

8. Iceland, Italy (tie)

10. Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, South Korea (tie)

The top 10 worst countries to have a childhood:

1. Niger

2. Angola

3. Mali

4. Central African Republic

5. Somalia

6. Chad

7. South Sudan

8. Burkina Faso

9. Sierra Leone, Guinea (tie)

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