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Expertseminarium om barnfattigdom 2009

Den 20-21 november 2009 arrangerade ICSW i de nordiska länderna ett expertseminarium i Stockholm på temat barnfattigdom. Moderator var professor Tapio Salonen. I seminariet deltog experter från Danmark, Finland, Grönland, Norge och Sverige.

Rapporten i sin helhet: Child Poverty in the Nordic countries

Child Poverty in the Nordic countries
International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW)
Documentation from an ICSW conference of experts on child
poverty held in Stockholm the 20-21 November 2009.
Bodil Eriksson

Introduction

The Nordic welfare states have by general and selective policies in areas as housing, education, health and social affairs aimed at giving all citizens a basic economic security and access to public service and reduce poverty. In this traditional Scandinavian model the state is the main deliver of welfare services. By transfer payment to different groups, where families with children are included, good living conditions should be created with equal opportunities to education and future life. The welfare policy has been questioned during the last years and the political agenda has changed towards a more restricted welfare policy. Different statistics point at rising gaps between social groups in the Nordic societies. To get an understanding of the situation today ICSW decided to make a conference on child poverty in the Nordic countries as a starting point to investigate the situation of today and formulate a policy to counteract child poverty. Professor Tapio Salonen, Växjö University, Sweden, was moderator and researchers from the different Nordic countries presented findings from their respective country.

The conference was opened by the president of ICSW in Europe, Mrs. Eva HolmbergHerrström. The member of the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen) Mrs. Emma Henriksson representing one of the parties in the government coalition, the , KD1 made a short introduction on the theme child poverty. She mentioned poverty in families during special phases of life as young families, when parents are students with small income. The definition of child poverty she used was income below the limit to social assistance. As causes for poverty she pointed at unemployment, insufficient education and immigration. She pointed at the government policy aiming to protect children by general child allowances, and need-assessed social social assistance. Education was highlighted as the protective measure against poverty, giving possibilities to get a job and be self-sustained. Immigrants’ situation was harder and for them special support to get a job could be needed. Finally she called attention to the fact that poverty in Sweden was small in comparison with poverty on global level.

The Norwegian researcher Tone Flötten opened the discussions by a presentation of different definitions of child poverty and their implications. Participants from the different countries , gave presentations on child poverty in their respective country. The focus in the presentations varied from definitions of child poverty, social benefits and conditions for living, experienced situations of poverty and interventions towards child poverty. It gave a many folded picture of how to look at child poverty in different countries. The conference worked in international groups to develop and formulate suggestions on poverty reduction.

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