TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - "Appalling" discrimination against migrant children and a lack of legal protection for poorer youths in New Zealand and the UK put them near the bottom of the annual survey by Dutch NGO KidsRights.
"It's a shame that countries like the United Kingdom and New Zealand are really at the lowest ranks of this index," Marc Dulleart, founder and chairman of KidsRights, told AFP.
"Of course the situation in the UK is far better than in Afghanistan or Syria, but it's relative to their position," Dulleart said.
Britain ranked 170 and New Zealand 169 in the survey of 181 countries.
Iceland was top followed by Portugal, Switzerland, Finland and Germany. Afghanistan was worst, followed by Sierra Leone, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic.
The annual KidsRights rankings, compiled with the Erasmus School of Economics in Rotterdam, use UN data to measure how countries measure up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
"The message is that, considering their economic status and it is a democracy and it is a country not in war, then it is appalling in such a rich developed country that the score on the basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the lowest score."
Booming economic growth in countries such as China, India and Myanmar is meanwhile failing to translate into better rights for children, the group said.
KidsRights also presents an annual international children's peace prize whose previous winners include Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012.