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Monday, December 11, 2017
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New UNICEF report: Canadian children at back of the pack among rich nations
TORONTO, Apr 14: A new report released today by UNICEF highlights the inequalities in child well-being in the world's most affluent nations, including Canada. While progress in reducing child well-being gaps has been modest overall, Canada's children are at the back of the pack, ranking in the bottom third when measured against other rich nations. Report Card 13: Fairness for Children reveals that Canada ranks 26th of 35 nations when compared across four key domains of child well-being: income, education, health and life satisfaction. The report measures bottom-end inequality of children compared to their peers in the middle. When inequality gaps between children in the middle and those at the bottom are closed, overall child well-being should improve for all of Canada's children. Despite Canada's relative economic strength, the dividends have not been spread equitably to children, with little progress to close disparities in their well-being over the past decade.
"The true measure of a nation is how well it attends to the needs of its children. Are our children healthy? Are they happy? Are they safe? Are they learning what they need to succeed?" said David Morley, UNICEF Canada President and CEO. "As Canadians, we are privileged to live in a wealthy nation. We have no excuse for the inequalities that continue to exist among our children. This report provides insight into how we can close those gaps and improve child well-being for all of Canada's kids."
Recent government commitments are great start to closing gaps
"We're pleased to see recent commitments by Canada that are strong steps to addressing these inequalities and the timing couldn't be more critical," said Morley. "In particular, the recently proposed Canada Child Benefit, a commitment to curbing the marketing of unhealthy food and drinks to children, the development of a national early years' strategy to support child care and learning and a commitment to greater flexibility for parental leave will all help in moving Canada's kids to the front of the pack."
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