• Sweden's news in English
 

Report prompts child poverty debate in Sweden

Published: 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
Sweden enjoys tourism boom
Photo: Måns Fornander/imagebank.sweden.se

Sweden enjoys tourism boom

Tourism in Sweden is increasing rapidly with foreign tourists expected to spend a total of 115 billion kronor (13.3 billion) this year, according to an industry forecast. READ  

Swedish hostages freed in Syria
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Swedish hostages freed in Syria

Two Swedish men held hostage in Syria have been released with the help of Jordanian and Palestinian authorities, Sweden's foreign ministry said Saturday. READ  

Swedes risk double tax over pension change
The 'orange envelope' containing annual pension statements. Photo: TT

Swedes risk double tax over pension change

Many Swedes risk paying double tax on their savings following changes to private pensions rules, experts warn. READ  

Christian Democrats elect first female leader
Photo: TT

Christian Democrats elect first female leader

Sweden’s Christian Democrats on Saturday unanimously elected Ebba Busch Thor as the party’s leader, replacing Göran Hägglund. At 28, she’s the youngest person to ever lead a Swedish party in parliament. READ  

Municipal interpreters spoke wrong language
Most migrants from Romania speak Romanian, not Romany. Photo: TT

Municipal interpreters spoke wrong language

The municipality of Helsingborg hired interpreters to communicate with migrants from Romania. Problem was, the interpreters spoke a language the Romanians didn’t know at all. READ  

Swede wins world boxing title
Badou, left, connects with Anthony Dirrell during the fight in Chicago. Photo: AFP

Swede wins world boxing title

Sweden's Badou Jack claimed the World Boxing Council's super middleweight title as he outpointed previously unbeaten Anthony Dirrell in Chicago on Friday night. READ  

Swedish police officers praised by New Yorkers
The Swedish police heroes meet with NYPD heads. Photo: New York Police Department/TT

Swedish police officers praised by New Yorkers

A video has emerged of Swedish off-duty police officers breaking up a violent fight on the New York subway. READ  

Eighth happiest: why are the Swedes not pleased?
Swedes are the eighth happiest people in the world. Photo: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

Eighth happiest: why are the Swedes not pleased?

Sweden is the eighth happiest country in the world, according to the UN. But the result has not gone down well in the Nordic country. The Local caught up with an expert to find out why. READ  

Löfven: Palestine move was done by the book
Stefan Löfven gets a grilling from the powerful Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Swedish parliament. Photo. Henrik Montgomery/Scanpix

Löfven: Palestine move was done by the book

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has denied that he bypassed parliament when the country recognized Palestine last year. READ  

Early summer sweeps in across much of Sweden
Swedes enjoying the sunshine in Stockholm. Photo: The Local

Early summer sweeps in across much of Sweden

Get the barbeque out and your swim suit ready – summer is here. In fact, western and parts of central Sweden have been able to enjoy the year's warmest season for the past seven days. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
What's on in Sweden: April 23rd - 30th
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
How the Stockholm School of Economics changes expat lives
Features
My bizarre Swedish habits that foreigners just don't understand
National
Brits in Sweden face NHS black hole
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
Blog updates

24 April

Editor’s blog, April 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Spring has well and truly arrived, as evidenced by the start of strawberry season. The..." READ »

 

15 April

Gång, timme, tid & dags (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! In this article I will talk about “gång”, “timmar”, “dags” and “tid”, because they all translate..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
The Swedish regions where you're least likely to stay jobless
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd
Sport
Sweden's Eriksson joins row over foreign England player quotas
National
MEP says ignoring migrant crisis like 'Sweden's Holocaust appeasement'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Swedish mining town that's being moved
National
How much would you pay for first Swedish strawberries of 2015?
Gallery
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Photo: TT
National
Get set for a sunny week in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Does far-north Sweden have to punch above its weight?
National
Refugees in Sweden fear for families lost at sea
National
Syria claims ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders are Scandinavian
Gallery
People-watching: April 18th
National
Swedish researchers pore over link between coffee and cancer
Features
What you can buy in Sweden for the price of a London shed
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Swedes launch first donut into space
Politics
Is Sweden returning to 1990s social democratic welfare politics?
National
Mamma Mia! Abba entertainment venue set to open in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: April 15th
National
Why Sweden is top place in the world for expats to raise children
National
Swedish 'submarine' was civilian boat
National
Why has a US town got pulled into a Swedish spelling row?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hovås, Gothenburg
National
What does Zlatan think of his ban?
National
Swedish teenagers help rebuild Breivik massacre island
National
Would you live in a steel box?
National
How an act of kindness by one Syrian immigrant went viral
Gallery
People-watching: April 8th
National
Swedish bids for Billboard fame
National
Swedish monkeys denied Saudi visas
National
Sunny spring weather predicted
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
National
Half of Swedes want begging ban
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
National
Why are expats less likely to settle down with Swedes?
Sport
What does Sweden think of Zlatan's recent outburst?
Society
Get to grips with Sweden's most bizarre Easter traditions
Gallery
People-watching: April 1st
National
The Local's best April Fools' gags
National
US spy agency to feature in new 'Stieg Larsson' book sequel
National
Beaver bite at Swedish bus stop
Gallery
Property of the week: Åreda
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
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

3,330
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se