On 19 November 2013, Dinand Webbink, Professor of Policy Evaluation at Erasmus School of Economics presented together with the Children’s rights organisation KidsRights and the International Institute of Social Studies the first KidsRights Index. This index is the first to provide insight into how countries all over the world score in the field of implementing children’s rights in five different domains: the right to life, health, education, protection and child rights environment. By launching the KidsRights Index, the initiators aim to bring children’s rights to the attention of a wide public and support the further implementation of children’s rights.
The KidsRights Foundation took the initiative to develop an index that takes a scientific approach to charting the status of the implementation of children’s rights worldwide. The Erasmus School of Economics and the International Institute of Social Studies were approached to help create the KidsRights Index. In developing the index, the partners used existing data: quantitative data published annually by UNICEF in the State of the World’s Children and qualitative data for each country that signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, from the Concluding
Observations published by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The KidsRights Index is a global measuring instrument that places emphasis on compliance with the rights of the child.
Marc Dullaert, founder of the KidsRights Foundation, says, "We believe that the KidsRights Index is of great value in making existing data understandable for and accessible to a wide public. Not only does the index clearly show how countries score on the implementation of children’s rights, but it also clarifies the points on which they can still improve. It is a tool for helping governments, civil society and other stakeholders to take action on improving children’s rights."
Prof.Dr Dinand Webbink
Surprising results from the 'child rights environment' domain
The ranking is based on five domains that are necessary for promoting the implementation of children’s rights. The ‘child rights environment’ domain is unique, as it provides insight into the extent to which a country is formally equipped to carry out the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in the eyes of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. This domain provides some
surprising results. “Some of the developed countries have a relatively low score, while a few developing countries show that they are performing well”, says Karin Arts, Professor of International Law and Development at the International Institute of Social Studies. In 2013, the countries that stand out are: Portugal, Thailand, Egypt, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Luxemburg
and Brunei. European countries occupy the top ten places this year. Portugal heads the list, followed by the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Iceland, Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden, France and Spain. The differences between the countries at the top of the list are small. The ranking was created on the basis of the most recently available data.
Performance by country and domain
There are still many places in the world that do not comply properly with the rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The KidsRights Index therefore provides insight into the status of each country and forms the basis for making concrete recommendations. The ranking takes place on the basis of five domains with measurable indicators, which are necessary for promoting the implementation of children’s rights: right to life, health, education, protection and child rights environment. The ‘child rights environment’ domain is based on indicators, such as having the correct legislation, allocation of resources, availability of data and cooperation between government and civil society, as well as the application of general principles, such as non-discrimination, participation and the interests of the child. The KidsRights Index is published annually and is continually updated on the basis of new data.