The Kidsrights Foundation released the annual rankings of child rights on May 26, 2020. From 182 countries, Iceland is ranked one in the Global Child Rights Index. Comparing to 2019, India has scaled up four positions, denoting a better state while Iceland maintains the rank one second time this year. Switzerland takes the second position followed by Finland and Sweden.
Countries might slid 10 years back
Pandemic crisis is expected to undo all the progress, the report states. Even though India has moved up four positions and many other countries have improved their ranking, experts have a different say. They believe that lockdown due to pandemic is likely to erase a decade’s progress.
The Chairman of Kidsrights Foundation, Marc Dullaert said in a statement, “Our index shows that even before Covid-19, countries were not allocating sufficient budgets around the protection of child rights. Now we expect the economic consequences of the crisis to turn the clock back 10 years on the progress made around the wellbeing of children, unless governments take swift action.
How is India’s progress affected in lockdown?
According to the reports, Karnataka Government’s Helpline Number for Children in distress has reported some cases. About 37 calls regarding child marriages in just two weeks into the lockdown. The Women Development and Child Welfare Department of Andhra Pradesh prevented more than 165 child marriages in the past two months.
Apart from this, experts are concerned about the 20 lakh students who are dependent on the schools for their mid day meals.
Many states in India have also stopped the immunization activities which might lead to an increase in the infant mortality rate.
In Karnataka the government’s helpline to report cases of children in distress reported at least 37 calls about child marriages in just two weeks after the lockdown was announced. In Andhra Pradesh, the state’s women development and child welfare department has prevented at least 165 child marriages in the past two months.
Indicators to Judge Child Rights
There are five indicators considered to judge the countries:
- Right to Life
- Right to Education
- Right to Health
- Right to Protection
- Enabling Environment for Child Rights
The data from United Nations and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is used. Areas of scrutiny in the global index include maternal and child mortality rates, percentage of child labor, rates of immunization, expected years of schooling for boys and girls, among many others.