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Ireland near top of child well-being list but no country doing enough - report

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Children in Ireland rank fifth in a new global index which measures best chance of survival and well-being, a new report reveals today.

However, no single country is adequately protecting children's health, their environment and their futures, the landmark report 'A Future for the World's Children?', in the 'Lancet' journal showed.

The index looked at 180 countries and was overseen by a commission of more than 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world who examined a range of concerns including climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco at young people.

European countries provide children with the best start in life and eight make the top 10 with Norway, the Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands heading the table, the commission - which includes the World Health Organisation and Unicef - said.

However, when authors took per capita CO2 emissions into account, the top countries trail behind.

According to the report, while the poorest countries need to do more to support their children's ability to live healthy lives, excessive carbon emissions - disproportionately from wealthier countries -threaten the future of all children.

If global warming exceeds 4C by the year 2100 in line with current projections, this would lead to devastating health consequences for children.

It also highlighted the threat posed from harmful marketing.

Children in some countries see as many as 30,000 advertisements on television alone in a single year.

Irish Independent