Spain, the European country with the highest rate of child poverty

Spain continues to have one of the highest rates of child poverty among European Union (EU) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries and ranks 36th in the 39 ha Unicef ​​ranking. condemned According to a report published this Wednesday by Unicef’s research office Innocenti, the poverty rate among Spanish children increased between 2014 and 2021 compared to the rest of the EU.

The document, which examines the evolution of child poverty in the richest countries in these two years, reveals that between 2014 and 2021 Spain remains “stable”, at 28% child poverty, leaving it only 36th out of 39. ahead of the United Kingdom, Turkey and Colombia. Between 2019 and 2021 it is also ranked 36th, ahead of only Romania within the EU, and in 2021 it is the European country with the highest rate of child poverty.

This is an “unacceptable” rate of child poverty for a country like Spain. “Behind these figures are children and adults who cannot eat meat, chicken or fish or fruit and vegetables at least once every two days, who live in houses without adequate temperature, who do not have clothes, proper shoes or books. Or those who cannot participate in recreational activities or go on vacation once a year,” he noted.

And he urged not to “look the other way” at a minor who does not enjoy “decent living conditions”.

Although Spain improves slightly from its 2012-2014 starting point, it ranks 22nd out of 39 in child poverty progress, with a reduction of only 4% between 2014-2021, compared to an average of 8%. the rest of the countries.

Unicef ​​emphasizes that child poverty does not depend too much on countries’ income levels and cites Slovenia as an example, which has similar income levels to Spain and yet has the lowest child poverty rate at 10%. In Spain, the percentage of boys and girls in persistent poverty (two or more years in poverty) is the fourth highest among the European countries analyzed, more than 20% in the period from 2017 to 2019.

Also of concern is the rate of severe material and social deprivation, which in 2022 was 10.3% and places Spain in sixth place in the European Union, and the rate of child material deprivation, in the same position among European countries, and 19.7% of boys and girls who cannot afford at least three products or services, such as New clothes, two pairs of shoes, fruit and vegetables daily, school trips or adequate books.

The analysis also reveals “enormous disparities” in the risks of poverty: migrant families, the Roma community, people with disabilities or those living in single-adult – especially female – households are particularly vulnerable to poverty.

For Unicef, the new legislature in Spain and the creation of the Ministry of Youth and Children are an “opportunity” to end child poverty after they say some of the policies and social assistance implemented by the previous government, such as raising the minimum wage or minimum living income Won’t work because of “lack of specific information about children,” “restricted by very low income,” or “limited coverage and high levels of ‘no access.'” Help.

“The problem of child poverty in Spain is structural and must be solved as such. It is possible to reduce it, but it is a political decision,” added Suarez Pertierra, who called for “more effort” for this.

Source: El Diario

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