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Sweden slammed by Unicef child poverty report

Published torsdag 14 april 2016 kl 10.11
Unicef says immigration is not the reason
(1:08 min)
Christina Heilborn, head of programme at Unicef Sweden. Photo: Mona Hambraeus/Sveriges Radio
Christina Heilborn, head of programme at Unicef Sweden. Photo: Mona Hambraeus/Sveriges Radio

Sweden is far behind its Nordic neighbours as regards helping children out of poverty, says a new report from UN child agency Unicef.

“It is worrying and remarkable that Sweden cannot manage to get the children who are worst off, out of social and economic vulnerability,” says Christina Heilborn, programme head at Unicef Sweden, to Swedish Radio News.

The UN agency has compared the poverty gap for children in various rich countries, and Denmark is top and Finland, Norway and Switzerland share second place. Sweden places 23 out of the 35 EU and OECD countries, behind countries in Eastern Europe, Greece and the USA.

This means there is a bigger economic, health, education and well-being gap among children in Sweden.

Children of lone parents or immigrant parents are over-represented among the worst-off.

Christina Heilborn says Sweden has chosen to not make an effort to help children. Unicef says that the fact Sweden has higher immigration than its Nordic neighbours is not a sufficient explanation for its low position on the list.

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