Bangladesh has ranked as the 134th country in the world for children to experience childhood, according to Save the Children’s new Stolen Childhoods report, launched today on 01 June, to coincide with International Children’s Day.
The report includes a global index ranking 172 countries based on where childhood is most and least threatened. In South Asia, Bangladesh ranks behind Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India, and ahead of Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Childhoods in Niger and in West and Central Africa being most threatened, while in Norway and other European countries like Slovenia, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden being least threatened.
The report says over two-thirds of the world’s stunted children live in only 10 countries. Of these India has the most with 48.2 million children while Bangladesh has the eighth highest with 5.5 million stunted children.
The report also finds that globally one girl under 15 gets married in every seven seconds, and in Bangladesh, 44 percent of girls aged 15-19 are married. Every year, around 17 million adolescent girls give birth and half of all adolescent births occur in just seven countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and the United States.
Stolen Childhoods found that at least 700 million children around the globe — and possibly hundreds of millions more — have had the promise of a full childhood brought to an early end.
The reasons vary from extreme violence and conflict, often driving families from their homes; early marriage and pregnancy; child labour, poor health and not being able to go to school.
“Despite progress on global goals, children in Bangladesh are still suffering and dying from diseases, and experiencing harsh discrimination, which are taking away their childhoods. It is unacceptable that in 2017 many children in Bangladesh and around the world still do not have their right to be safe, learn, grow and play. We must, and we can, do better than this,” says Mark Pierce, Country Director, Save the Children in Bangladesh.
“In 2015, the world made a promise that by 2030, all children would be in school, protected, and healthy, regardless of who they are, and where they live. Although this is an ambitious target, it’s within reach if governments invest in all children to guarantee they have the full childhood they deserve.”
Save the Children is an international child rights organization working for children since 1919. The aid agency runs programmes that work with the most marginalised and excluded children in hard-to-reach places around the world including Bangladesh, providing them with access to health, shelter, education, vocational programmes and protection from harm.
In line with its Every Last Child campaign, Save the Children is calling on the Bangladesh government to ensure that no child dies from preventable or treatable causes or is subjected to extreme violence; is robbed of a future as a result of malnutrition, early or forced marriage, early pregnancy, or forced labour; and that they have access to a quality education.