Vietnam moves up in country rankings for providing safe, healthy childhood

By Dang Khoa   May 29, 2019 | 08:06 pm PT
Vietnam moves up in country rankings for providing safe, healthy childhood
Students attend an IT class at a primary school in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
Vietnam has climbed one place to 95th in the Global Childhood Report's ranking of 176 countries in protecting and providing for children.

According to the London-based NGO Save The Children, the report it released this week ranks countries based on eight factors - malnutrition, child labor, being out of school, teen pregnancy, homicide, being displaced by conflict, child marriage, and death before age five.

Vietnam scored 831 out of 1,000, up from 816 last year.

The report said Vietnam and three other countries, Bangladesh, Brazil and Ethiopia, have used additional resources from social investment and economic growth to create highly effective programs benefitting children.

It also pointed out that a significant reduction in stunting has helped Vietnam gain 67 points since 2000 when it only had 764.

Vietnam has also cut the child labor rate by two thirds since 2000 to 9 percent. Its progress in tackling poverty has improved living conditions for many families and reduced their need to send children to work.

Vietnam has invested heavily in education, ensuring high enrollment rates, with a particular emphasis on ethnic minority children and children in remote mountainous areas, the report said.

The country has been implementing a national campaign to prevent child labor since 2016.

With a score of 989, Singapore beat South Korea, the only other Asian country in the top 10, and eight European nations to top the table. It has been ranked number one for the second year in the row.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam also lags behind Brunei (63rd), Malaysia (71st) and Thailand (86th). Other countries in the region range from 102nd (the Philippines) to 145th (Laos).

The world's two largest economies, U.S. and China, both rank 36th. The Central African Republic, Niger and Chad finished at the bottom.

The report concluded that the world is far better in 2019 than in 2000.

Worldwide, there are 4.4 million fewer child deaths per year, 49 million fewer stunted children, 115 million fewer children out of school, 94 million fewer child laborers, 11 million fewer married girls, three million fewer annual teen births, and 12,000 fewer child homicides per year.

However, one in four children is still denied a safe and healthy childhood.

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