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Rome

30 mn children in relative poverty in OECD, report says

Save the Children says 570 mn worldwide in extreme poverty

30 mn children in relative poverty in OECD, report says

Rome, January 20 - Thirty million children in OECD countries live in conditions of relative poverty, according to a report released on Wednesday by Save the Children Italy, on the the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The report on childhood poverty said 570 million children worldwide live in extreme poverty, 950 million children are at risk for poverty, and 750 million are victims of deprivation. According to the report, 27% of children in the EU are currently at risk for poverty and social exclusion, an increase of one million children between 2008-2012 in the EU countries plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. In most cases these children come from one-parent households, or from families with foreign parents or parents with severe occupational difficulties. The report said 73% of the poor worldwide come from medium-income countries, and that childhood poverty goes hand-in-hand with social and economic exclusion, often strengthened by political and institutional inequalities present in some countries. For some minority or disadvantaged groups, such as particular tribes or castes, as well as cases of disabled children or migrant children, poverty is aggravated by stigma and discrimination, which increases their social exclusion. For example in the US, the majority of disadvantaged children come from specific racial or ethnic groups or from specific geographic areas, and have difficulty integrating with the scholastic path of other children. There, childhood poverty strongly affects the African-American and Latino communities, where school becomes a place of racial isolation for the poorest children. In fact, the report said that 40% of these children frequent scholastic institutions where over 90% of the children are non-white. "Childhood poverty is one of the central phenomena of our time, and it's much more pervasive than people think," said Valerio Neri, director general of Save the Children Italy. "It risks creating serious damage to the future of hundreds of millions of children and our entire society," he said. "We need to go beyond exclusively monetary parameters of childhood poverty and fight all forms of social exclusion. The international community took up an important responsibility with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but now effort is necessary at all levels from the part of governments to adhere to development policies that have the fight against childhood poverty as a priority for action".

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