Friday, November 16, 2007

Child Poverty Rises in Germany

Child poverty in Germany is increasing in spite of a buoyant economy and falling unemployment. Since the introduction three years ago of the Hartz reforms of the social security system the number of boys and girls dependent on social security has doubled to over 2.5 million according to Thomas Kr├╝ger, the head of the children’s charity Kinderhilfswerk .

The report reveals that 14 per cent of all children in Germany are poor. In 1965 only one child in 75 below the age of seven was dependent on welfare. Today the figure is one in six and is doubling every ten years.

Many foreign families are in a particularly precarious position. In North-Rhine-Westphalia one child in three is poor, and in the cities the proportion is 40 per cent. The situation is worst in Bielefeld, where half of all children of migrant background are welfare dependent. Those of Turkish and Yugoslavian background are hardest hit, and the second generation harder than the first. A large proportion of migrants’ children find themselves in a vicious circle of poverty leading to poor education and work opportunities. One third of them leave school with no qualifications, largely because of a poor command of German.

Nevertheless , the Kinderhilfswerk also notes that an increasing number of middle-class children are threatened with poverty. Today average earners, including skilled workers, can no longer feed a family of four and has to rely on supplementary welfare.

Capitalism just can't deliver regardless of all the claims made for this exploitative system .

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