HBSC home





News Item:
UNICEF publish report on children and the sustainable development goals

Violence, poverty, prejudice and educational under-achievement are shaping the futures of millions of children in the world’s wealthiest countries.

The latest UNICEF Innocenti Report Card (released June 15th), 'Building the Future: Children and the SDGs in rich countries', released this week, is a reminder to 41 wealthy countries of the OECD that despite the broader economic and social progress they have made in recent decades, an under-class of children is being left behind.

The Report Card, using key indicators from the HBSC study, argues that industrialised nations have much to do in order to meet the health, education and protection needs of the most vulnerable members of their societies – and to meet the targets set by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Among the report's worrying findings:

  • An average of one in five children in high-income countries live in poverty, though there is wide variation (from one in 10 in Denmark to one in three in Israel and Romania).

  • Six per cent (1 in 16) of European women aged between 18 and 29 report having been sexually abused by an adult before the age of 15.

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 19 of both sexes, accounting for over 17 per cent of all deaths.

  • 14 per cent of adults in sample countries believe that higher education is more important for boys than for girls.

  • Undocumented migrant children are excluded from schooling in Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania.

  • In the countries surveyed, at least one in 10 children regularly experiences bullying, with the incidence particularly high in the Baltic states.

However the report also includes much to celebrate:

  • Adolescent drunkenness – an issue of major concern in many high-income countries, as highlighted by the HBSC study – has declined markedly since 2010.

  • The teenage birth rate is falling in all high-income countries: 10 countries reduced their rates by over 40 per cent.

  • More than nine out of 10 children participate in organised preschool learning, which is critical for their long-term development.

This UNICEF report, alongside international reports from the HBSC study, is a wake up call. They urge countries to take action in several key areas: most notably, to put the well-being children at the heart of their long-term development plans; and to pay particular attention to the needs of children at the very bottom of the income scale, ensuring that no child is left behind.

see here for further details

item 4323
[15-06-2017 to 28-02-2018]


HBSC News Archive: