Rich countries can do better for their children, says UNICEF

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© UNICEF/SWIT2006-0002/Auf der Maue

The UN children's agency (UNICEF) says that rich countries can do better to improve the wellbeing of their children.

A study launched by the agency's Office of Research on Wednesday finds that the Netherlands and four Nordic countries, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden again sit at the top of the child well-being table.

Four southern European countries, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are placed at the bottom half of the table.

The UNICEF report card looks at such issues as the material well-being of children, children's health, education, behaviour and risks and housing.

Chris de Neubourg, Chief of Social and Economic Policy at the UNICEF Office of Research, says what countries like Norway or Finland can achieve, others can achieve as well.

"So, if they do better on certain domains, and probably it's an invitation to look at how the Finish do and how you compare to the French. By the way that also applies to Finland where you look at for example Finland has more of a problem in the behavioural dimension. They now look at their neighbours and a couple of other countries in Europe and across the world and see what they can learn. And that's what the report card is about. The report card in the end is about UNICEF telling countries that 'well look, you are rich, you can afford to do well for your children and we think you can afford to do better for your children." (32")

Mr. Neubourg says UNICEF also compared the child well-being index with what children themselves say about how well they feel.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1'31"

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