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Posted April 11, 2007
The United Nations Children¿s Fund, UNICEF, has a fine record of honestly surveying the appalling impact that our present economic system has on the health and welfare of children across the world. For example, their recent report, Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries 'Innocenti Report Card 7, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, 2007' found that Britain and the USA are the worst places to grow up while northern European countries are the most child-friendly. American and British youngsters have a more troublesome childhood than their European counterparts. They are poorer, get on worse with their parents and take more risks. In comparison with children living in the other countries studied, those growing up in the USA and Britain have the lowest quality of life. The report compared the level of children¿s well-being in 21 economically advanced countries. Despite being among the richest, Britain and the USA occupied the last two places in the list, with the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark taking the top three slots. The findings suggest that national wealth does not correspond directly to quality of childhood: the Czech Republic, for example, outranked richer countries like the USA, Japan or Germany. The level of children¿s well-being was assessed through measuring six factors: material well-being health and safety education peer and family relations behaviours and risks and self-perceived subjective well-being. Although northern European countries like the Netherlands did well on the overall score, ¿all countries have weaknesses that need to be addressed,¿ said David Bull, director of UNICEF UK, ¿No country features in the top third of the rankings for all six dimensions.¿ There are, however, clear losers. ¿The United Kingdom and the United States find themselves in the bottom third of the rankings for five of the six dimensions reviewed,¿ UNICEF said in its summary. Britain got the lowest overall score and ranked worst in family and peer relationships - measured by single-parent rates and the frequency of family meals - and behaviours and risks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.