The report, which will be released on Monday, indicates South Africa jumped 25 spots, from being ranked at 109 last year, to number 84 on the new list.
But while the country had improved in its overall global ranking in child rights, discrimination against girls, HIV and Aids-affected children and those with albinism had worsened, putting vulnerable groups more at risk of violence, the report noted.
“Discrimination is severely hampering the opportunities of future generations to reach their full potential,” said Marc Dullaert, chairman of the KidsRights Foundation.
What had improved South Africa’s score were improvements in immunisation and data collection. The country had slightly improved the ways in which it fosters an enabling environment for children’s rights and was assigned a higher score on the indicators “Collection and analysis of data” and “Best interests of the child”.
Egypt was the only African country in the top 20, placed at number 16. The top three countries were Portugal, Norway and Switzerland, respectively.
The worst performers were Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic, ranked at 163 to 165.