Botswana ranks 6th best place in Africa in the KidsRights Index 2020 – a study assessing how children’s rights are respected worldwide and how committed countries are to improving them.
Globally, Botswana is ranked 82nd and Iceland ranks 1st as the best country to grow up as a child.
The index assessed 182 countries which are all UN member states that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The report groups 20 indicators into five areas: the right to life; the right to health; the right to education; the right to protection; and the enabling environment for child rights. The performance in the latter category is based on the Concluding Observations adopted by The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Four African countries are in the five lowest-scoring countries. These are Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone and Chad.
In the protection ranking which comprises of child labour, adolescent birth rate and birth registration, Botswana ranks 94 out of 182 with a score of 0,832.
According to the scale, 1 is the best and highest score a country can achieve. In the Health ranking which comprises of % of under five-year olds suffering from underweight, immunisation of one-year-old children, of population using improved sanitation facilities (urban and rural) and % of population using improved drinking water sources (urban and rural.
Botswana ranks 113 out of 182 with a score of 0,823. Botswana did not do well in the life ranking where it is placed 127 out of 182. The life ranking category is comprised of indicators such as Under five mortality rate, life expectancy at birth and maternal mortality ratio.
The KidsRights Index is the first and only global ranking that annually measures how children’s rights are respected worldwide and to what extent countries are committed to improving the rights of children. Although the report does not directly state the impact of the pandemic, the wider report expresses concern that the coronavirus will have disastrous consequences on children and threatens to reverse progress made over the decades. “The challenges the coronavirus poses to governments worldwide are likely to have a serious and long-lasting effect on the extent to which those governments will focus on actively implementing children’s rights at large, and/or will be able to do so,” states the report.
Amongst other things, the report states that “the State party cooperates with civil society through formal agreements. It is concerned, however, that civil society is not sufficiently consulted in aspects of children’s rights beyond those that involve service delivery”.