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Key risks to children’s health are socioeconomic, says global health report

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1001 (Published 13 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1001
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Specific calls for global action on health and other social issues can have a major effect on children’s life chances, concludes a report that compared data on laws and public policies affecting children in 191 countries.

Children’s Chances looked at policies in a range of areas, including health, education, discrimination, and labour laws.1 It aimed to look quantitatively at what steps governments could take to improve children’s chances, said its author, Jody Heymann, dean of the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California.

Paid maternity leave of 14 weeks or more was one example of a global call to action, made by the International Labour Organisation in 2000, and has had a dramatic effect on governments’ policies, she …

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