Myanmar ranked 112 out of 172 countries according to new End of Childhood Index
Many Myanmar children have had their childhood ‘stolen’ according to a new global report released by Save the Children that lists the country 112th out of a total 172.
The report finds that for at least 700 million children world-wide (one quarter of the world’s children) – childhood has ended due to factors like death from preventable illness or accidents, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, extreme violence, exclusion from school, the need to work or malnutrition.
Country specific data was analysed and used to rank countries from 1 (best) to 172 (worst) for the protection of childhood. The list was then divided into four tiers – from tier one listing countries where ‘few’ children are missing out on childhood, to tier four where ‘most’ children are missing out on childhood.
Myanmar is listed as the first country in tier three where ‘many’ children face a stolen childhood. The report highlights Myanmar’s child mortality rate (50 per 1000 live births), rates of child stunting (29.2%) and the number of primary and secondary children out of school (29.4%), as the indicators of most concern.
In relation to these three indicators, the report makes several recommendations to Government, including:
- That in order to eliminate deaths from preventable or treatable causes, essential services for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health should be prioritized in their efforts to achieve universal health coverage as a key component of their national health systems by 203
- That to reduce child stunting, national reduction targets should be in place which can demonstrate progress towards meeting the globally agreed World Health Assembly nutrition targets.
- Plans should be in place to ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, safe and quality basic education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
Norway and Slovenia top the list as countries where childhood is best protected - with West African countries Niger and Angola listed as countries where childhood is protected the least. Myanmar’s neighbouringcountries India, Lao PDR and Bangladesh are ranked lower than Myanmar in the report at 116, 130 and 134 respectively, with China and Thailand both ranked higher at 41 and 84.
Country Director for Save the Children, Mr. Michael McGrath, said that although the ranking indicates there is still a lot more to be done to ensure all children’s rights in Myanmar are protected, it is important to recognise the progress that has been made in recent years.
“Save the Children believe there are some reasons to feel optimistic,” Mr McGrath said. “For example, stunting rates for children in Myanmar are declining – and we believe the Government’s recent commitment to prioritising action on nutrition will ensure statistics continue to improve.”
“We also continue to work closely with the Government and our partners on a range of programmes that are helping to improve education, health and protection outcomes for many children.”
“We are particularly excited about the cash transfer pilot for pregnant women and new mothers in Chin State where we are working closely with the Ministry of Health and Sport and the Department of Social Welfare,” Mr McGrath said. “However, we call on the Government to further enhance funding and support for education and health services - with a particular emphasis on the most marginalised and vulnerable children. That includes children living in both urban and remote areas – as well as ethnic minorities and stateless children.