UK ranks 173 out of 182 in Kidrights index

Principles where the UK fell short:

2) The principle of the ‘best interests of the child’ is nowhere fully implemented

According to the CRC, the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children, so that when decisions are taken about the child they reflect what will serve the child best. On taking the best interests of the child at heart, there is not a country in the world that scores ‘good’, while 54 (out of 165) countries score ‘bad’, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. All over the world decisions are taken about children without considering their best interests adequately. This occurs for example in cases where children are being separated from their parents or for migrant and refugee children. Judges and other professionals working for and with children should be trained on how the principle of the best interests of the child should be implemented better in judicial and administrative decisions and other interventions.

4) Legislation should be improved

South Africa and the United Kingdom are examples of countries that need to bring their domestic legislation yet more in line with the CRC.


… countries that score the lowest possible score on all indicators within a specific domain, will also score very low on the total KidsRights Index. In the KidsRights Index 2018 this is the case for Sierra Leone (rank 182), Afghanistan (rank 181), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (rank 173) and New Zealand (rank 172).

… mainly due to a harsh assessment by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child relating to the enabling environment for children’s rights in the UK, ranks very low in the KidsRights Index since 2017. However, this doesn’t mean that children in the United Kingdom are necessarily worse off than children living in countries ranking above the United Kingdom.

… This does explain why some countries rank unexpectedly very low on the KidsRights Index, such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand (which both received a rather harsh assessment of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2016 and thus have a very low score on domain 5.

Country Overall Score Missing values of 20 indicat
173 UK 0.379 3

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