KidsRights Index - lives of 1 billion children are at stake due to climate change

Report reveals limited progress in the standards of children’s lives
KidsRights Index 2022 - map - total
Smiling children sitting on the ground - KidsRights
Photo by Yannis H on Unsplash

In its 10th anniversary report, the Kids Rights Index identifies climate change as the biggest global threat to children’s futures with 1 billion found to be at extremely high risk of being negatively affected, whilst 920 million are already affected by water scarcity and 820 million are highly exposed to heatwaves

The researchers that work on the KidsRights Index, with Professor Karin Arts of the International Institute of Social Studies, found that climate change is also set to severely impact one billion of the world’s future generations - half of all children globally - over the next ten years. The 2022 report also revealed that the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have led to the loss of up to 286,000 lives of children under the age of 5, due to severe disruptions in food and medicine deliveries, the closure of health clinics and delays to child vaccination programmes.

Worryingly, the KidsRights Index, the only ranking that annually measures how children’s rights are respected worldwide, finds that there has been no significant progress in the standards of children’s lives and rights across the world over the last decade, while standards amongst the lowest ranking countries have even dropped further.

Some countries, however, have made clear progress over the last decade in the specific domains measured within the report - life, health, protection and enabling environment for children’s rights - such as Angola on the right to life, or Bangladesh on the right to health. However, other countries have witnessed a clear decline, such as Nigeria on its maternal mortality ratio and Montenegro on child immunisation levels.

KidsRights Index results 2022 - infographic
KidsRights Index

Some of the most significant findings

Iceland leads the KidsRights Index ranking for the fourth year in a row.
Chad remains the lowest ranking country.
Switzerland dropped from 2nd to 31st due partly to insufficient implementation of the principle of the ‘best interests of the child’ in decisions that affect children.
Angola has significantly improved its score on children’s ‘right to life’ due to deliberate government policy.
Bangladesh has reduced the number of underweight children under five years old by almost 50%, whilst the percentage of its population using improved drinking water increased from 85% to 98%.
Iraq has seen a substantial rise in the adolescent birth rate, from 70 to 240 per 100,000 yound women aged 15 to 19.
The Netherlands has the worst score in Europe for access to clean air with one in five Dutch children suffering from asthma.

Download the KidsRighs Index 2022 report

The KidsRights Index

KidsRights is an international non-governmental organization that promotes the wellbeing of very vulnerable children across the world and advocates the realization of their rights. The KidsRights Index is a collaborative publication produced annually by researchers at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) and Erasmus School of Economics.

  • Professor Karin Arts 2019

    ISS' Professor Karin Arts is one of the co-initiators of the KidsRights Index and the primary author of the 2022 report. 


Professor Karin Arts

More information

Media requests can be addressed to Sandra Nijhof.

Related links
KidsRights Index

Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes