Hazardous child labor fell by two-thirds between 2000 and 2012.

The children born in 2000, now finishing 5th grade, are much less likely to work than were their elder siblings and cousins. The ILO’s newest estimates find the number of child laborers worldwide falling from 245.5 million in 2000 to 168 million in 2012. The number of younger children in hazardous work has fallen fastest, dropping by fully two-thirds from 111 million children ages 5-14 in 2000 to 38 million in 2012.

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Maternal mortality rates are down by 30 percent worldwide since 2000, but up sharply in the United States.

Maternal care has been one of the quiet successes of world public health in the last decade. Since 2000, 15 countries around the world have cut maternal mortality by more than half. A generally successful decade has, however, brought disturbing trends to richer countries – and in particular, to the United States, where maternal mortality rates have been drifting upward for 20 years to a reported 21 deaths per 100,000 births in 2010. The Affordable Care Act, by bringing nearly 10 million women of child-bearing age into health insurance programs, is likely to help.

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