Who pays for government austerity? A new report by UNICEF would suggest it is Canadian children.
Relative to other nations, Canada is stuck in the middle of 29 wealthy nations when it comes to the well-being of our children, and indicators particularly around health care and poverty are disturbing.
According to UNICEF’s most recent report card, Canada is 21st out of 29 for relative child poverty, 22nd for infant mortality, and 27th for the percentage who are overweight.
While the report suggests that at 17th Canadian children overall are doing relatively well, “we have too many children who are left out of public health efforts and who are not benefitting from their years of compulsory education by going on to further education.”
While children in poverty are most likely to be left out, the report notes that there are conditions affecting childhood in Canada that cut across all socioeconomic levels, stating we are raising children “in families squeezed for time as well as income.”
Children’s own impression of their well-being is startling – for that we rank in the bottom third at 24th. Only Eastern European nations fare worse. While children’s self-impression usually falls in line with the other indicators on the survey, that is not the case for Canada.