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One in nine German children 'missing basics'

The Local · 29 May 2012, 15:12

Published: 29 May 2012 15:12 GMT+02:00

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Germany ranked 15th in the new UNICEF study, which examined the living situation of children across 29 European nations. The study found that 1.2 million German children are deprived of two or more daily necessities.

The study looked at 14 different factors in a child's daily life, such as a diet that includes fruit and vegetables, access to the Internet, occasional new items of clothing and the opportunity to play sport. The study found 13 million children across Europe lacking two or more of these essentials.

Free time was what children lacked the most in Germany. One in 20 German children regularly goes without any warm food during the day, according to the study. Nearly five percent were found to have nowhere to do their homework, and 3.7 percent were managing with just one pair of shoes.

More than 40 percent of German children who UNICEF deemed deprived came from households where both parents were unemployed, and another 35 percent had parents with low-level job qualifications.

Christian Schneider, the head of the charity's German branch, blamed political obstacles for getting in the way of helping children who, in a rich industrialized nation, should not lack basic necessities.

“It is disappointing that our country cannot make a determined effort to improve the general standard of living for children,” said Schneider.

The study found that Iceland had the best conditions for children, with less than one percent of its children living in hardship, followed by Sweden, Norway and Finland. In Romania, which ranked at the bottom of the survey, 72 percent of children lack two or more basic necessities.

Story continues below…

The study was carried out to build a better picture of how poor children live in some of the world's more developed countries. The findings have left UNICEF experts alarmed, prompting them to recommend that children's living conditions be studied once a year.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:00 May 29, 2012 by IchBinKönig
I wonder how many of these same children have Xbox or Wii at home. East McD's, curry wurst or Doner more than twice a week? and how many are already verging on obesity? or how many of their parents have an Apartment, a car, a fridge, a Handy, a washing machine, a drinking problem. Just imagine what these children would have grown up as without all these things, and instead inherited a work ethic.
18:56 May 29, 2012 by Englishted
¦quot;It is disappointing that our country cannot make a determined effort to improve the general standard of living for children,¦quot; said Schneider.

It is not a disappointment it is a disgrace .
19:00 May 29, 2012 by Karl_Berlin
Helen Lovejoy: Won't somebody please think of the children!?!
20:31 May 29, 2012 by lucksi
Internet is now a necessity? What's next? Cell phones?

And only having one pair of shoes? Umm, guilty of that right now.

I always had a place to do my homework. It was called "bus" and there was always lotsa time to do it there on the long rides. No wait, I meant to say that I walked the 15 kilometers to school in the driving rain or snow. Uphill, both ways!

(The funny thing is, the part to the bus stops was really uphill on both ends)
01:00 May 30, 2012 by IchBinKönig

'Internet is now a necessity? What's next? Cell phones?'

what about a 500sqmt living space, a flat screen tv, a microwave, satellite television with Al Jazeera, 100 count cotton sheets, a personal bathroom.

Seems like a case of the haves, and the have mores. Class warfare 101.
08:09 May 30, 2012 by hankeat
The children are the victims. The parents of the children are the problems.
09:03 May 30, 2012 by Bushdiver
This story can't be true. I just read a few days ago here that Germans have more money than ever.
22:41 May 30, 2012 by JenDigs
I'm wondering about the warm food thing. (It doesn't say they are lacking nutritional food- just "without any warm food during the day"...though earlier in the article it mentions fruit & veg, but in a vague way...) My son has a cold lunch every day and I know there are many parents who think this odd, if not cruel... (and we often eat a light dinner which may or may not be hot)... but I just don't get it... I don't agree that the food served at his ganztagschule is healthy (overly salted, cooked at 6am and kept hot for like 6 hours) and I would happily challenge anyone that my son's cold lunch (veggie sticks, a piece of cheese, a fruit, a yogurt, small serving of pasta salad- or some similar combo) is far, far healthier than kaiserschmarrn with vanilla sauce (a fairly regular "hot lunch" served at his school) or an over-salted, mushy (but hot) concoction.
15:09 May 31, 2012 by Sayer
It is fair to say that Germany is a "Child Unfriendly Country" Just look at all those lemon-lipped grouches on the S-Bahn when little ones are heard giggling innocently. The 'harumphing' is deafening. I even heard one obviously constipated old biddy comment that "dogs are so much more obedient!"
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