Mapping children’s chances

The biggest ever global picture of children’s well-being, education and family life has been assembled into a series of maps by the University of California, Los Angeles. “When you look at a map, everyone’s eyes go straight to where they live,” says Dr Jody Heymann, director of the university’s World Policy Analysis Centre. In the US, they might be surprised to see how unusual it is not to have a statutory right to maternity pay.

Paternity leave

There is plenty of information published about childhood and families, says Dr Heymann. “But with immense respect, much of it’s unusable, no one is going to read the reports.” But putting information into maps gives citizens the type of instant overview usually only available to academics or governments, she says. “It shows what can be achieved.” Here is a small selection of dozens of maps produce by the UCLA team.

Paternity leave

The maps can challenge what is considered to be usual or acceptable, by showing what happens in other countries, say the researchers. This map shows how few countries ensure the legal right of an education for children with disabilities.

Disabled right to education

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