Save the Children launches Global Childhood Report in Vietnam
More Vietnamese children are better off today than 20 years ago, according to the third annual Global Childhood Report 2019, which launches today in Hanoi by Save the Children in collaboration with the Department of Child Affairs under the Ministry of Labor, Invalid and Social Affairs.
Launched with the hope to stimulate discussions and actions to ensure that no child is left behind, Save the Children’s Global Childhood Report includes the End of Childhood Index, which measures the extent to which children in each country experience “childhood enders” – life-changing events like child marriage, early pregnancy, exclusion from education, sickness, malnutrition and deaths – on a scale of 1 to 1,000. The report finds that circumstances for children have improved in 173 out of 176 countries since 2000.
More specifically, a comparison of the End of Childhood Index scores between 2000 and 2019 finds that Vietnam’s score is up 67 points, from 764 to 831, which is a significant accomplishment. This year Vietnam is ranked 95th out of 176 countries, one rank higher than last year.
Across the region, neighboring Cambodia ranked 120, Thailand 85, the Philippines 102, Indonesia 107, and Laos 145. Singapore tops the rankings as the country that best protects and provides for its children, with eight Western European countries and South Korea also ranking in the top 10. The most dramatic progress was among some of the world’s poorest countries like Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Niger.
Our report shows that globally, at least 280 million children have a better chance to grow up healthy, educated and safe than at any time in the past two decades. In the year 2000, an estimated 970 million children were robbed of their childhoods and that number today has been reduced to 690 million.
Ms. Dragana Strinic, Country Director of Save the Children in Vietnam, congratulated the remarkable progress Vietnam has made for its children over the past two decades:
“A significant reduction in child labor and a reduction in stunting have contributed greatly to make the lives of Vietnamese children today better than 20 years ago. Over this period the country cut its child labor rate by an impressive 67 percent. Today, less than ten per cent of children aged 5-14 are engaged in child labor, down from 28 percent in 2000. The overall stunting rate – that is, the impaired growth and development children experience as a result of poor nutrition or illness – is 24.6 percent, compared to 36.5% in 2000, and Save the Children is working with the Government to reduce that even further, particularly for ethnic minority children living in remote and hard to reach areas.”
Vietnam is one of the very first countries to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ILO Convention on Child Labor. Vietnam has made great progress on poverty reduction which reduces the need for families to send children to work, as well as heavy investment in education to ensure high enrollment rates with particular emphasis on ethnic minority children and children in remote mountainous areas. Vietnam has also effectively leveraged its economic growth and development assistance to create effective programs benefiting children.
“To continue the progress and ensure that we adhere to Leave No One Behind, Save the Children encourages Vietnam to maintain its commitment to improve the lives of children by increasing investments in areas that affect them and taking targeted action to ensure reaching children who live in the most difficult circumstances.”
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 Prevalence of undernutrition by severity in 2000, National Institute of Nutrition