Save the Children’s annual report has ranked Finland as the third-best country in the world for children, signalling a rise of two spots from the previous year.
The Global Childhood Report 2019 evaluated 176 countries on children’s access to health care, education, nutrition and protection from harmful practices like child labour and child marriage.
“It’s wonderful that Finland is still among the countries that offer the best conditions for childhood,” said Hanna Markkula-Kivisilta, secretary general at Save the Children Finland. “Although children’s conditions in Finland are good by international standards, we do have our risk factors as well. Child poverty is an issue that causes want and inequality.”
Elsewhere on the index, Singapore and Sweden took the top two spots. At the other end of the scale, children in the Central African Republic, Niger and the Republic of Chad face the most challenges.
The overall situation around the world has improved dramatically in the past 20 years, with only three countries not bettering their score from 2000. According to the report, 280 million fewer children are robbed of their childhood in the world today due to ill health, malnutrition and exclusion from education, compared to the turn of the century.
“Save the Children was founded 100 years ago to help the child victims of World War I,” Markkula-Kivisilta said. “Nowadays children are healthier, wealthier and better educated than ever before, but millions of children are still left without a childhood. War and violence are still significant threats to children.”