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Britain, NZ failing on children's rights: global survey

AFP  |  The Hague 

Britain and are failing on children's rights, scoring lower than war-torn and relative to their in rankings released Tuesday by a children's group.

"Appalling" discrimination against migrant children and a lack of legal protection for poorer youths in and the UK put them near the bottom of the annual survey by Dutch NGO

"It's a shame that like the and are really at the lowest ranks of this index," Marc Dulleart, founder and of KidsRights, told AFP.

Britain ranked 170 and New Zealand 169 in the survey of 181 was top followed by Portugal, Switzerland, and was worst, followed by Sierra Leone, Chad, and the

The annual rankings, compiled with the Erasmus School of Economics in Rotterdam, use UN data to measure how measure up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"Of course the situation in the UK is far better than in or Syria, but it's relative to their position," Dulleart said.

"The message is that, considering their economic status and it is a democracy and it is a country not in war, then it is appalling in such a rich developed country that the score on the basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the lowest score." Booming economic growth in countries such as China, and is meanwhile failing to translate into better rights for children, the group said.

However and ranked surprisingly highly, at 14th and 15th, because with the "limited resources they have, they put everything into the next generation", said

The group said giving children around the world a bigger say was crucial. It cited the examples of youth movements such as teen climate activist Greta Thunberg's school marches and US rallies for gun control after school shootings.

"We are still underestimating the power of these movements," said of the Netherlands, who founded the Missing to install boards of children in companies, and has worked with

"We need to get rid of this old fashioned mindset that we the adults have all the answers," added the princess, who is the sister-in-law of Dutch She also urged governments to invest in children now to reap future benefits -- citing the example of Dutch football team Ajax, whose young team stunned by making the semi-finals of this year.

"It's a bit like 'why is playing so well' - and we're incredibly proud of them by the way - it's because 10 years ago they had the right strategy, investing in youth. Then it shows up later that we have stars." KidsRights also presents an annual international children's peace prize whose previous winners include Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the in 2012.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 13:26 IST
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