Politics

One in five children in France live in poverty, says Unicef

Over three million children in France live under the poverty threshold according to a report published today by Unicef France, which equates to one in every five children in the country.

The results of the study, which were published along with 36 policy recommendations, pile more pressure on French president François Hollande's government to increase focus on the social and economic marginalization of children who live in France. The report called on the government to show greater progress in implementing Convention on the Rights of a Child.

The report entitled 'Every Child' was launched today by Unicef France president Michèle Barzach under the hashtag #ChaqueEnfant and included shocking statistics about the state of youth poverty in the country. One notable finding was that 440,000 children under the age of 18 fell under the poverty threshold during the years of the global economic crisis, 2008 - 2012.

The report, which has been sent to France's national assembly in a bid to raise awareness about the issue, brands the living conditions of thousands of migrant children in France as "unacceptable", estimating that almost 18% of under 18 year olds in the country live in social exclusion.

Around 30,000 children in France are homeless, 9,000 live in slums and 140,000 drop out of school every year.

"The report should ring alarm bells for the authorities to urgently act for the sake of every child in a way which is more efficient," Barzach said. "There is no credible public strategy when it comes to the issue of children and youths collectively and coherently, nor is there a mechanism to monitor and evaluate the it."

These most recent figures from Unicef for child poverty back those published by Eurostat in January, which estimated that 21% of children in the France live in poverty.

However, according to the Eurostat figures some EU states are even worse hit than France. In both Spain and the United Kingdom nearly one in every three children lives in poverty. An estimated 32.6% of children live under the poverty line in both countries, a figure which is higher than that for all but five European states out of the 31 states surveyed.

Only Romania (48.5%), Greece (38.1%), Hungary (43%) Bulgaria (51.5) and Latvia (38.4%) had higher figures of child poverty.

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