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Scandinavia Today / Sweden


Child poverty claims in Sweden by charities exaggerated, a media research show

Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Child poverty in Sweden is said to be driven by over zealous children's rights organizations and thus present exaggerated figure of poverty when it is likely that child poverty in Sweden is not as severe as they depict.

According to charity organizations, Save the Children, there are a quarter million poor children in Sweden. But when the Swedish television made an investigation into such claims, it turned out that child poverty in Sweden conducted by these organization, tend to be based on issues that are not considered a necessity for child welfare in a typical Swedish environment. Therefore, the picture presented by the Swedish television research give a different picture.

According to Swedish television, all the three largest children organizations in Sweden, Bris, Majblomman and Save the Children, provides highly exaggerated figures and much more sorrowful picture in their campaigns than what really is happening.

In 2011, Save the Children launched a campaign Black which aimed at the poor children living in Sweden. In the film that was presented it shown in 2011 there were 220,000 poor children in the country. Children, according to the campaign lacked the means to access to food. Some politicians and media including this one, devoted lots of critical talking point about the issue of growing child poverty in Sweden of all places.

But investigation by Swedish televisions investigative program new program show that child poverty in Sweden is hard to be proven. It has been hard to find these hungry children depicted by the children's organisation.

Many children and families with children could be of low incomes but not as poor as depicted by the campaigns carried out by these organisations such as the image presented by Save the Children in their Black campaign.

Dallas DiabatÚ who has worked with children and young people in one of the most deprived regions of Sweden, Rosengard, Malm÷ for 30 years told the investigation team from Swedish television that " while there is child poverty for parents who can not buy an iphone for their children, they can not buy a computer for their children and the children are seen as poor according to Swedish standards."

But he has never met a child who did not get food, "Never. Never," says Dallas DiabatÚ.
And when Janne Josefsson contacted Save the Children Sweden Manager, Agneta ┼hlund, she admits that the campaign - which says a quarter of a million children are forced to go around in summer in winter shoes  and not having enough to eat - provides an inaccurate picture of child poverty in Sweden.

"It does not give a true picture of the situation of the 240,000 children living. However, it gives an accurate picture of some children," said Agneta ┼hlund.

"There's a problem, of course, to compare them with a country like Mozambique. The poverty looks just different. Therefore, we have probably opted instead to focus on what happens to the children's identity," she said.

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