Children: South Asia

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

2017/ Global Index of Places

Sushmi Dey, India fails to give kids a safe childhood, ranks a poor 116, June 1, 2017: The Times of India

Scores Worst In Protecting The Girl Child

India has fared poorly ranking 116 in the global index of places where childhood is most and least threatened, lagging behind many of its neighbouring countries like Myanmar (112), Bhutan (93), Sri Lanka (61) and Maldives (48).

The index is part of a new report `Stolen Childhoods', from Save the Children, which assesses children missing out on childhood. The index scores reflect the average level of performance across a set of eight indicators related to child health, education, labour, marriage, childbirth and violence.

India scored 754 points. According to the report, one in every 21 children being born in India are dying before reaching their fifth birthday , whereas 47 million youth of upper secondary age are not in school. While India has the highest number of stunted children in the world, it also accounts for the largest number of child labourers under age 14 among all nations.

Data show India's worst performance was in indicators which reflect safeguarding the girl child. For instance, 10.3 crore girls in India were married before they had turned 18 and 50% of all adolescent births occur in just seven countries which includes India. The stunting rate among Indian girls is also very high with one-third of girls aged 15-19 being stunted even as in most countries stunting rates are higher for boys than for girls.

Stunted growth is caused by chronic malnutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child's life (from the start of pregnancy to age 2). Chronic malnutrition at this stage of life is largely irreversible, and stunted children face a lifetime of lost opportunities in education and work. Such children are also more likely to succumb to illness and disease. Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 years of age are attributable to under-nutrition. Data show 38.7% Indian children aged 0-59 months are severely malnourished.

2018/ End of Childhood Index 2018: India 113/ 175 countries

Ambika Pandit, India’s ranking goes up in childhood index, May 31, 2018: The Times of India

A decrease in rates of child marriages has helped India climb up the rankings in a global index which indicates the quality of childhood children have access to in their countries. The study however, puts India in the category of countries characterised by poverty and discrimination against girls.

Ranked 113 in the 175-country ‘End of Childhood Index 2018’, the report released by NGO Save the Children shows India’s overall score has shown a distinct improvement this year going up by 14 points from 754 to 768 on a scale of 1000.

The index which is part of the report titled “The Many Faces of Exclusion” shows that under five mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) was 43 which is a cause of concern. Also child stunting (children aged 0-59 months) was 38.4% and rated as high.

On child marriages, the index shows that adolescents currently married or in union (girls aged 15-19) was 15.2%. This was 21.1% in the 2017 index where India figured as 116 out of 172 countries ranked. It is significant to note that the child marriage data assessed does not include data on consensual unions.

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