The health and future of children are under pressure worldwide due to climate change and youth-oriented marketing of products such as fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco. This is stated in a report from the WHO health organization, the UNICEF child welfare organization and the Lancet medical journal.
The study, conducted by a committee of forty experts, indexed the living conditions of children in 180 countries. Among other things, health, education and nutrition were considered.
The experts say that no country is able to protect the health, living environment and future of children. The poorest countries need to do more to ensure that children can lead healthy lives. Greenhouse gas emissions are a global threat, but especially in prosperous countries.
Another factor is that children are exposed to the marketing of harmful products. In some countries, children see 30,000 commercials every year. The Committee points out that the number of overweight children has risen sharply as a result. 124 million children were overweight in 2016, 11 million in 1975.
"Great chance of survival in the Netherlands"
According to the index, children in Norway, South Korea and the Netherlands have the greatest chance of survival and well-being. However, these countries are lagging behind in terms of CO2 targets.
The committee gives the situation of children in the Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali the lowest rating.
"This report is a wake-up call for countries to invest in health and development," said WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He also stressed the importance of hearing children's voices and protecting their rights. "We need a future that is suitable for children."