The long-term relationship with the KidsRights Foundation

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Philip Hans Franses (former Dean Erasmus School of Economics), Marc Dullaert (Chair KidsRights Foundation), November 2014.

For more than 10 years the international children’s rights organisation KidsRights Foundation and Erasmus University Rotterdam have been joining forces. For example, in close cooperation with Erasmus School of Economics and the International Institute of Social Studies, the KidsRights Foundation published its tenth annual KidsRights Index earlier this month.

Impressive conference with Children’s Peace Prize winners and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Last Monday, KidsRights Foundation celebrated the 18th International Children’s Peace Prize Ceremony. The Prize was presented to Japanese teenager Rena Kawasaki for her pioneering work to get more young people to participate in politics and society. Eight years before, when Erasmus University Rotterdam celebrated its centennial anniversary, the KidsRights Foundation celebrated the tenth awarding of the International Children’s Peace Prize with a conference on Woudestein campus.

"If we mess it up, we’re done"

This conference, co-organised by the Economic Faculty association Rotterdam (EFR), was attended by previous winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize and by patron of the Prize, the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who passed away in December 2021. The audience, consisting of hundreds of students and interested people, was given the opportunity to debate on how you can commit yourself to the rights of the child. To the question how young people can stay inspired as they get older and suffer disappointments, Desmond Tutu answered: "These young Prize winners have been inspired to want to make the world a better place. It can be, but they need your help. Because this is the only home we have. If we mess it up, we’re done."

The annual publication of the KidsRights Index

In close cooperation with Erasmus School of Economics and the International Institute of Social Studies, the KidsRights Foundation published its first KidsRights Index in 2013, the only global ranking that annually measures how children’s rights are respected worldwide and to what extent countries are committed to improving the rights of children. It comprises a ranking of all UN member states that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and for which sufficient data is available, as of 2022 a total of 185 countries are part of the Index.

Climate change biggest threat

On its 10th anniversary, the 2022 KidsRights Index revealed that there has been no significant progress in the standards of children’s lives over the last decade, while standards amongst the lowest ranking countries have even dropped further. Climate Change is named as the biggest global threat to children’s futures, as 1 billion are 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 annual publication of the KidsRights Index is extensively covered by media, reaching more than 2.5 billion people worldwide. In 2021, British newspaper The Guardian, reached over 500 million views. The article titled ‘Global report: ‘disaster’ looms for millions of children as WHO warns of second peak’, reported how millions of children would fall into extreme poverty because of the COVID virus pandemic.

More information

For more information, please contact Ronald de Groot, Media & Public Relations Officer at Erasmus School of Economics:, mobile phone: +31 6 53 641 846.

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