One in three British children are in ‘multi-dimensional poverty,’ finds a June 2017 Unicef report. Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries (pdf) says that the UK has some of the highest levels of hunger and deprivation among the world’s richest nations
The Unicef report ranks 41 high-income countries against 25 indicators tracking progress against internationally agreed goals to end child poverty and hunger, promote health, ensure quality education, and reduce inequality.
It concludes that the majority of rich countries are going backwards on inequality indicators as gaps between rich and poor widen, with many performing poorly in key areas of child health, notably as a consequence of rising obesity rates.
Unicef calls for high-income countries to take action in five key areas:
- Put children at the heart of equitable and sustainable progress: improving the well-being of all children today is essential for achieving both equity and sustainability.
- Leave no child behind: national averages often conceal extreme inequalities and the severe disadvantage of groups at the bottom of the scale.
- Improve the collection of comparable data – in particular on violence against children, early childhood development, migration and gender.
- Use the rankings to help tailor policy responses to national contexts: no country does well on all indicators of well-being for children and all countries face challenges in achieving at least some child-focused SDG targets.
- Honour the commitment to global sustainable development: the overarching SDG framework engages all countries in a global endeavor.