The Netherlands has slumped from second to 13th place in a new ranking of countries’ attitudes to children’s rights.
The KidsRights Index ranks 163 countries and is topped by Norway, followed by Swtizerland, Finland, Portugal and Ireland.
The Dutch decline follows a report by the United Nations’ committee on the rights of the child which said government measures to finance and facilitate equal rights for children had worsened.
Erasmus University professor Karin Arts, who worked on the report, said the fact that the Netherlands is no longer in the top 10 reflects concerns by the UN committee about children growing up in poverty and about the impact of government cutbacks.
‘The recent decentralisation of youth social services and the different service levels provided by local authorities means children do not have equal access to the facilities,’ she said.
‘This shows once again that developed countries such as the Netherlands still have a lot to do to ensure the UN treaty on children’s rights is fully enacted.’
Former children’s ombudsman Marc Dullaert, who founded the KidsRights Index, told broadcaster RTL that 390,000 children in the Netherlands live below the poverty line. ‘If the Netherlands does not do better than this, parents will pass on poverty to their children and they will have no real future,’ he said.
This article was amended to reflect the true figure about how many children live in poverty.