How friendly are OECD countries towards children? Conceptualization and measuring issues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC; United Nations, 1989) has brought upon a new realization of children's rights as including both nurturance and care rights and the newly adapted self-determination rights. However, efforts to measure countries' commitment to children have neglected self-determination rights. This study builds upon a previous study that took a holistic approach to studying African countries' commitment towards children using a “child friendliness index”. This composite index was adjusted to fit the challenges faced by developed OECD countries and utilized sets of indicators on child self-determination and nurturance and care in order to create friendliness score for each country. Results show that Nordic countries are the most child-friendly, with high scores on both sets of indicators, while Korea, Spain, Turkey and the Czech Republic are the least. Results also show that there is no association between the two sets of indicators, and while Gini coefficient and GDP per capita were correlated with nurturance and care, they were insignificantly linked with child self-determination. These findings could indicate that child friendliness requires a commitment not only to securing the nurturance and care of children, but also to assist children in promoting their self-determination, an overlooked aspect in child welfare research and policy. This kind of action could enable children to participate as active agents in society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-165
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Child and family policy
  • Child-friendliness index
  • Children's rights
  • Government performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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