Slovenia ties Sweden as sixth best country for children
Ljubljana, 19 April - Slovenia and Sweden were the sixth best countries to raise children in in Europe, according to the 2014 Child Prosperity Index. The list of 27 countries was topped by Norway and bottomed by Romania. Slovenia was up two spots compared to 2010.
The index has been compiled by the Institute for Social Security in cooperation with UNICEF Slovenija and the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs to monitor the quality of life of children in the country and enable benchmarking with other European countries, said Urban Boljka of the institute.
The new index measures financial prosperity of children, their health and security, awareness and risks, education, accommodation and environment, family and peer relations and also includes a subjective assessment of prosperity.
State Secretary Martina Vuk said that important changes had been made in this government's term to improve children's lives and protect them.
The family legislation was revised after more than 40 years and changes to the act on prevention of domestic violence banned corporal punishment of children, she noted.
State secretary at the prime minister's office in charge of social affairs, Andreja Črnak Meglič, said that an anomaly of the Slovenian social transfers system was that child benefits were used to cover the basic costs of living, whereas they should be complementary to other social transfers.
Also presented today was a study on the lives of children between 2005 and 2015, a period marked by big economic and social changes.
At the start of the period, Slovenia's economy expanded at the fastest rate since independence, while after 2008 the economic crisis caused a rise in unemployment, increase in poverty and strongly affected the middle class.