Netherlands ranks fourth for children’s rights

The Netherlands is fourth in the world ranking for children’s rights, the KidsRights Index 2022. The two biggest problems children in the Netherlands deal with are air pollution and long waiting lists in youth care, the children’s rights organization KidsRights said in the tenth edition of its ranking.

KidsRights looks at how countries protect five fundamental rights of children. Children in the Netherlands have good opportunities at school and are well-protected, which is why the Netherlands ranks high on the list year after year.

But when it comes to a “favorable environment for the rights of the child,” the Netherlands dropped from third to thirty-seventh place in recent years. This is mainly due to long waiting lists in youth care, mental health problems among young people caused by the coronavirus crisis, child poverty and the deteriorated protection of unaccompanied child asylum seekers. KidsRights expects the Netherlands to drop further in the rankings in the coming years.

Another problem in the Netherlands is air pollution. Nowhere in Europe is there as much nitrogen dioxide in the air as in the Netherlands, said KidsRights. One in five children in the Netherlands has asthma, the highest percentage in Europe.

Last year, when the Netherlands was fifth on the ranking, KidsRights expected the Netherlands could drop significantly in the coming years due to the delayed effect of the coronavirus policy. KidsRights created its first index in 2013.

Worldwide, Iceland is still the best country to be a child in. Sweden, Finland, Netherlands and Germany complete the top 5. Chad is the lowest ranked, then Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea.

In many countries, children’s rights have deteriorated. About 160 million children are forced to work, over 8 million more than a few years ago. Nearly 286,000 children have died due to the indirect effects of the coronavirus pandemic. And some 25 million babies have missed their first vaccinations due to the cessation of vaccination campaigns.

Source: Zack Newmark, NL Times