Germany: One in 5 children live in poverty – Study

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Chancellor of Germany of Angela Merkel.
Chancellor of Germany of Angela Merkel.

Roughly 21 per cent of children in Germany have lived in poverty, either recurrently or permanently, for a period of at least five years, a study published on Monday said.

According to the study from the Bertelsmann Foundation, an independent research group linked to the Bertelsmann media empire, 10 per cent of children in Germany experience poverty intermittently throughout their upbringing.

“Child poverty is a permanent condition in Germany, one of the richest countries in Europe and anyone who is once poor remains poor for a long time.

“Too few families can escape from poverty,” Bertelsmann Chairman Joerg Draeger said.

Children who live in a household with less than 60 per cent of the average household net income or receive basic support from the state are regarded as poverty-prone.

The study found that while basic care is normally available for those affected by poverty, they are often isolated from social life.

The researchers measured their rates using a list of 23 items that families often lack for financial reasons.

“These include visits to the cinema, access to computers linked to the internet and living in small apartments.

“Children cannot free themselves from poverty; they therefore have a right to a livelihood which provides them with fair opportunities, as well as being good for personal growth.

“The government policy should not treat children as small adults, and called for a revamp of family policy, including a reduction of bureaucratic hurdles to social assistance,” Draeger said.

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