Save the Children End of Childhood Index: Uganda ranks 132 out of 172

Monday 19 June 2017

Uganda has come 132nd out of 172 countries in the End of Childhood global index released by Save the Children today. The index, contained in Save the Children’s Stolen Childhoods 2017 report, ranked 172 countries based on the best and most difficult countries in the world for children to have a safe, secure and healthy childhood. Norway topped the list while Niger came last.

The Stolen Childhoods report used under-five mortality, malnutrition, education, child labour, early marriage, adolescent births and displacement by conflict and violence as indicators to measure the end of childhood.

“Childhood is a time where children have the right to learn, play, grow healthily and be protected. Sadly, thousands of children in the country and around the world are missing out on this because of who they are and where they are from,” said Brechtje van Lith, Save the Children Country Director.

In the East African region, Uganda comes third after Rwanda and Kenya, which rank 112th and 119th respectively, while Ethiopia sits at the 139th position, Burundi 141st, Tanzania 145th and South Sudan 166th.

“The under-five mortality rate, child stunting and adolescent birth rate in Uganda are still high. For every 1,000 live births, 64 children die before reaching their fifth birthday, while 29% of all children below five are stunted,” van Lith said, explaining Uganda’s performance.

Uganda’s position was additionally attributed to the 25% teenagers (young women aged 15-19) who have begun childbearing.  

“The Government and other development partners have made considerable progress in fighting child mortality, illiteracy as well as improving child protection. However, as we all know, not all children are benefiting from these interventions, so there is need for more effort to reach those who are excluded. We need to reach Every Last Child,” said van Lith, in line with Save the Children’s Global Campaign.

She also cited the numerous South Sudanese refugee children that Uganda is hosting in the West Nile region, many of whom are not able to go to school because of resource constraints.

“The country has over 950,000 refugees from South Sudan, and sixty percent of these are children. They need to go to school, but we don’t have enough schools, classrooms, teachers or learning materials for them,” she said.

In September 2015, world leaders came together and agreed on an ambitious global framework for ending poverty called the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs promise a future in which all children have a full childhood – free from malnutrition and violence, with access to quality health care and education – and reinforces obligations to children set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most importantly, working towards a future in which no child is left behind.

“We call on the Government, parents, communities and all stakeholders in Uganda to value children and their rights to survive, thrive and be protected by following through on the commitments made under the SDGs, and by taking immediate steps to implement the pledge to leave no one behind, especially not children,” said van Lith.