From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Future for the World’s Children Report 2020 and indices mentioned
Mains level : Ensuring sustainable development worldwide
The Future for the World’s Children Report 2020 was recently released.
About the report
- The report was released by a commission of over 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world after assessing 180 countries.
- It was commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The Lancet medical journal.
What is Flourishing Index?
- Flourishing is the geometric mean of Surviving and Thriving.
- For Surviving, the authors selected maternal survival, survival in children younger than 5 years old, suicide, access to maternal and child health services, basic hygiene and sanitation, and lack of extreme poverty.
- For Thriving, the domains were educational achievement, growth and nutrition, reproductive freedom, and protection from violence.
Threats to Children
- The report highlights the distinct threat posed to children from harmful marketing.
- Evidence suggests that children in some countries see as many as 30,000 advertisements on television alone in a single year, while youth exposure to vaping (e-cigarettes) advertisements increased by more than 250% in the U.S. over two years, reaching more than 24 million young people.
- Studies in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the U.S. — among many others — have shown that self-regulation has not hampered commercial ability to advertise to children.
- Children’s exposure to commercial marketing of junk food and sugary beverages is associated with the purchase of unhealthy foods and overweight and obesity, linking predatory marketing to the alarming rise in childhood obesity.
- The number of obese children and adolescents increased from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016 — an 11-fold increase, with dire individual and societal costs, the report said.
What is Sustainability Index?
- Under the Sustainability Index, the authors noted that promoting today’s national conditions for children to survive and thrive must not come at the cost of eroding future global conditions for children’s ability to flourish.
- It ranks countries on excess carbon emissions compared with the 2030 target.
- This provides a convenient and available proxy for a country’s contribution to sustainability in future.
Highlights of the SI
- The report noted that under realistic assumptions about possible trajectories towards sustainable greenhouse gas emissions, models predict that global carbon emissions need to be reduced from 39·7 gigatonnes to 22·8 gigatonnes per year by 2030 to maintain even a 66% chance of keeping global warming below 1·5degrees C.
- No country in the world is currently providing the conditions we need to support every child to grow up and have a healthy future alarmed the report.
India ranked 77th on a sustainability index that takes into account per capita carbon emissions and ability of children in a nation to live healthy lives and secures 131st spot on a flourishing ranking that measures the best chance at survival and well-being for children.
Performance of nations in SI
- Norway leads the table for survival, health, education and nutrition rates – followed by South Korea and the Netherlands.
- The central African Republic, Chad and Somalia come at the bottom.
- However, when taking into account per capita CO2 emissions, these top countries trail behind, with Norway 156th, the Republic of Korea 166th and the Netherlands 160th.
- Each of the three emits 210 per cent more CO2 per capita than their 2030 target, the data shows, while the U.S., Australia, and Saudi Arabia are among the 10 worst emitters.
- The lowest emitters are Burundi, Chad and Somalia.
- According to the report, the only countries on track to beat CO2 emission per capita targets by 2030, while also performing fairly — within the top 70 — on child flourishing measures are Albania, Armenia, Grenada, Jordan, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay and Vietnam.