United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 28 October 2014 released a report titled Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries.
The report states that child poverty increased in 23 developed countries since the start of the global recession in 2008, potentially trapping a generation in a life of material deprivation and reduced prospects.
- Among the 41 countries, eighteen countries have seen falls in child poverty, topped by Chile which has seen a reduction from 31.4 percent to 22.8 percent. It also showed worsening situation from 2007 to 2013 and revealed rising feelings of insecurity and stress.
- The 41 developed countries include OECD and the European Union counties. Greece and Iceland have seen the biggest percentage increases in child poverty since 2008, followed by Latvia, Croatia and Ireland.
- Norway has the lowest child poverty rate of 5.3 percent and Greece has the highest at 40.5 percent. Even in Ireland, Croatia, Latvia, Greece and Iceland, rates rose by over 50 per cent.
- The proportion of children living in poverty in the UK has increased from 24 percent to 25.6 percent and in the US the rate is 32 percent.
- There is a rise in numbers of children and their families have experienced difficulty in satisfying their most basic material and educational needs.
- The recession has hit 15-24 year olds especially hard, with the NEETs (number of not in education, employment or training) rising in many countries.
- Especially, in the European Union 7.5 million young people were classified as NEET in 2013.
- Unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s have left many families unable to provide the care, protection and opportunities to which children are entitled.
- Most importantly, the Great Recession is about to trap a generation of educated and capable youth in a limbo of unmet expectations and lasting vulnerability.
- The percentage of households with children unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish or a vegetable equivalent every second day more than doubled in four European countries – Estonia ( 10 percent), Greece (18 percent), Iceland (6 percent) and Italy (16 percent).
The study also tracked the proportion of 15-24 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) which includes Gallup World Poll data on people’s perceptions of their economic status and hopes for the future since the recession began.
The study considered the four indicators to measure the poverty, they are
- Not having enough money to buy food for themselves or their family
- Stress levels
- Overall life satisfaction
- Whether children have the opportunity to learn and grow.