• Sweden edition
 
Report prompts child poverty debate in Sweden

Report prompts child poverty debate in Sweden

Published: 18 Jan 2013 16:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Jan 2013 16:15 GMT+01:00

In the summer of 2011, another children’s organization, Save the Children Sweden, released a report that stated that 220,000 children in Sweden lived below the poverty line.

As it was published in time for the political conference Almedalen, the report got a lot of attention in the meda. It even made its way into the keynote speech by then Social Democrat leader Håkan Juholt.

“This is crazy,” the voiceover on the accompanying Save the Children video says.

“Imagine not being able to eat until you’re full or walking around in summer shoes during the winter,” the voiceover on the report’s accompanying video said.

Later on, the term “child poverty” would make its way into several motions put to parliament, the investigative team behind the Sveriges Television (SVT) investigative news show Uppdrag Granskning noted in a report broadcast on Wednesday this week.

Their review showed that many Swedes who work with children thought the term was misleading and questioned what should be considered "poverty" in a relatively wealthy nation like Sweden.

Dallas Diabaté has worked with children and teenagers for 30 years in Malmö’s Rosengård neighbourhood, which is classified as one of Sweden’s poorest areas. He told Uppdrag Granskning that he had never met a child in Sweden who wasn’t getting enough food.

“On the other hand, there are parents who can’t afford to buy their child an iPhone or a computer and that child is considered poor by Swedish standards,” Diabaté said.

Many viewers reacted angrily to the show, however, saying it neglected to mention children in Sweden who really do struggle because their parents or parent have limited income or receive benefits.

The show’s producers and hosts responded that their aim was to look at misleading terminology used by NGOs and charities.

Uppdrag Granskning host Janne Josefsson explained the programme wanted to examine how three NGOs interpreted figures in a way that served their needs.

"Their descriptions are that a quarter of a million children don't have winter clothes, don't get food, and that's an exaggeration," he told Sveriges Radio (SR).

"We examined the three organizations and they aren't used to that and I think we were right to do it asking relevant questions. If they had good answers, then there is no problem. But they didn't."

The organization Bris, which also started using the term in 2011, has now decided to abandon the term “child poverty” for Swedish children and replace it with "social and economic vulnerability".

Also Save the Children, who first launched the term in 2011, has admitted that it gave a misleading portrayal of the situation and has since abandoned the campaign.

TT/The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

19:50 January 18, 2013 by skatty
If you are living in Europe then the standard of poverty would be considered the European standard of poverty not the dried lands in middle of desert with few people in some small villages in central Africa!

The poor is overweighted in rich countries and underweighted in poor countries. So, it's not the food, which should be considered in Sweden to find out who is poor.
14:15 January 19, 2013 by cogito
Different measures for different countries. It all depends on where they set the poverty line.

Let's have a report on the corruption in Save the Children's ranks.
03:23 January 20, 2013 by OrionsBellatrix
What "Milos" said about the US is not true. I am an American and have retired from legal practice. Judges and magistrates do everything they can to keep families together. In cases where crimes have been committed even then parents are released on probation and given second chance to do good in their lives for themselves and their children. Some parents are apathetic and their children are simply a meal ticket for more federal government welfare benefits. Judges cannot make parents behave and so children are removed from family homes and put with aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. Sometimes, because of drugs they are in foster homes. It is sad. Bad parents everywhere is a sad reality. The children suffer so much.
07:33 January 24, 2013 by robban70226
Should we pay and give an iPhone or a computer to every ''poor child'' in Sweden?, I pressume this is to be included in the 'welcome package'' of every inmigrant seeking asilo?
Today's headlines
Science
Swedes discover rare Antarctic fossils

Swedes discover rare Antarctic fossils

Researchers from Sweden have been speaking about a rare discovery of mammal fossils in the Antarctic. READ  

Ukraine conflict
Sweden Democrats reject EU-Ukraine pact
The Sweden Democrats have two MEPs, seen here with the party's leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrats reject EU-Ukraine pact

BREAKING: The European Parliament has backed an 'historic' agreement to allow closer trade between the EU and Ukraine, but the nationalist Sweden Democrats were among those trying to block the deal on Tuesday. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven to get no help from Sweden's Liberals
Liberal party leader Jan Björklund. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Löfven to get no help from Sweden's Liberals

UPDATED: Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund says he has no plans to join a government with the election-winning Social Democrats, as Sweden's political future remains uncertain. READ  

Analysis
'Evolution' for Sweden's crowd-funding scene
Photo: Victor1558/Flickr

'Evolution' for Sweden's crowd-funding scene

The Local checks out crowd-funding in Sweden as US giant Kickstarter announces plans to launch in Scandinavia. READ  

Opinion
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Brit Kester Gibson (left) thinks Scotland should split from the UK but Swede Mimi Coglianos disagrees. Photos: private

Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?

Scotland votes on whether to become independent this week and the Scottish National Party has suggested closer ties with Scandinavia if the 'yes' camp wins. The Local asked two readers if they agreed with Scotland splitting from the UK. READ  

Sport
Malmö gear up for Champions League
Sweden's biggest club Malmö face Juventus on Tuesday. Photo:TT

Malmö gear up for Champions League

Malmö are the first Swedish club in the Champion's League for more than a decade but they face a tough debut fixture against Italian champions Juventus in their Group A opener. READ  

Sweden earthquake 'was strongest in 100 years'
The town of Mora, near where the earthquake hit. Photo: Shutterstock

Sweden earthquake 'was strongest in 100 years'

An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale shook parts of central Sweden on Monday and experts have revealed it was the strongest in a century. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven rules out making government with the Left
Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt. Photo: TT

Löfven rules out making government with the Left

Election winner Stefan Löfven announced on Monday that he would not form a government with the Left Party, a move that party's leader called a "huge mistake". READ  

Elections 2014
Six big headaches for Stefan Löfven
Stefan Löfven: a man with a lot on his plate. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

Six big headaches for Stefan Löfven

Stefan Löfven has started talks to form a new government, but the former welder faces huge challenges in bringing together an administration that will work. The Local explains why. READ  

Business
Microsoft to buy Swedish Minecraft makers

Microsoft to buy Swedish Minecraft makers

UPDATED: Microsoft announced on Monday that it was buying Swedish company Mojang, which was behind the hit game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion (17.9 billion kronor). READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Blog updates

15 September

Liten, litet, små & lilla (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Have you ever been confused about when to use “liten”, “litet”, “små” and “lilla”? Today I’m going to sort out how use the adjective “liten” (small) and the different forms of it. Liten or litet? “Liten” is the form we will use when referring to a noun with the gender “en”. For example: Min pappa har en..." READ »

 

12 September

EU sanctions: necessary, effective and timely (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Regular readers of this blog know I’ve written about the Russia-Ukraine crisis here. Today I’ve chosen to share an article by the UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington, with my readers: This week the European Union imposed further sanctions on Russia. This decision followed months of destabilisation of Ukraine by Russia, and months of political..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

870
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN