KidsRights Index 2017 reported as revealing some uncomfortable truths

On 15 May 2017 the International Children’s Rights Foundation KidsRights and Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS and ESE) published their annual global ranking charting countries’ performance records concerning children’s rights.

As in previous years, the Index has received wide attention in the Dutch and international media and various policy makers, and professional organizations working on children’s issues have responded to the 2017 outcomes. The Huffington Post  has referred to the KidsRights Index as revealing 'some uncomfortable truths” that should be used “as a springboard for change'.

The 2017 Index shows, among other things, that industrialized nations often fall short in maximally mobilizing their capacity to realize children’s rights and that, relative to the budgets and means available to them, various developing countries are making greater efforts.

So although Portugal is lauded as the global frontrunner, the UK dropped from the 11th to the 156th place and New Zealand from the 45th to the 158th. This is largely due to critical reviews by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

At the same time, less industrialized countries such as Thailand and Tunisia are in in the top-ten ranked countries, especially as they both perform well in cultivating an enabling environment for the rights of children (domain 5 of the Index). This is in part because the Index does not only assess countries’ commitments to children’s rights in absolute terms, but also relative to their available resources.

About the KidsRights Index

The Index is an initiative of KidsRights, ISS and the Erasmus School of Economics. It uncovers gaps between policy makers’ good intentions and the effects policies actually have on children’s lives, it charts the countries’ performances and identifies themes and trends in children’s rights.


Publication date: 17 May 2017