The Netherlands drops on the KidsRights Index

The Netherlands drops on the KidsRights Index

An initiative between the international children’s rights foundation, KidsRights, and Erasmus University Rotterdam, have released their annual report, which aims to increase awareness of the concern for violence and discrimination against children.

The KidsRights study

The KidsRights Index is a global ranking that assesses the performance of all UN member state countries in how they deal with children’s rights; a total of 165 countries that follow the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

The study collects data from various reputable sources in order to identify global themes and trends in children’s rights and then proceeds in giving each country a score.

It looks at five broad areas including how countries adhere to international child rights’ standards, namely the right to life, health, education, protection, as well as providing an "enabling environment" for child rights to occur.

In 2017, Portugal led the world with a striking performance in child legislation, health and education. 

The Netherlands performance

Disappointingly, the Netherlands has fallen from the top. Just two years ago, it ranked second in the same study, but in 2017, has only managed to reach 15th place.

The only category where the Netherlands performed relatively well, making it within the top 10, was a child’s right to protection. It managed to stay within the top 20 for health and life but were far over 50 for the other two categories; education and the "enabling environment".  

The Dutch government was criticised for not offering children equal access to youth care services and claimed that child in poverty were hard hit by the recession.

A notable trend

According to KidsRights, economically prosperous countries are increasingly failing to outperform the rest. Perhaps the reason for this is because it assesses a country’s commitment to children’s rights in relation to its available resources.

For example, developing countries such as Thailand and Tunisia performed well in creating stable environments for children’s rights to flourish. 

Still, the Index shows that industrialised nations, despite having the budgets, are falling short of allocating them properly, and moreover, failing to invest in their future leaders.

Notable examples of countries who showed alarming performances include the United Kingdom, which fell from an 11th to the 156th place, and New Zealand, down from 45 to 158.

Marc Dullaert, founder and chairman of the KidsRights Foundation stated, “Discrimination against vulnerable groups of children and youths should be met head-on by all 165 governments represented in the Index. It is severely hampering the opportunities of future generations to reach their full potential.”

Top 15 countries for children's rights:

Here are the top 15 countries that ranked high for making children's rights a priority:
1. Portugal
2. Norway
3. Switzerland
4. Iceland
5. Spain
6. France
7. Sweden
8. Thailand
9. Tunisia
10. Finland
11. Belgium
12. Slovenia
13. Bosnia and Herzegovina
14. Uruguay
15. The Netherlands

Source: KidsRights Index 2017

Kiri Scully


Kiri Scully

Raised a global citizen, to an Irish father and American mother, Kiri has lived and worked in five countries over three continents. Fuelled by culture curiosity at an early age,...

Read more



Leave a comment