• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Report prompts child poverty debate in Sweden

18 Jan 2013, 16:15

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."

Story continues below…

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
Opinion
Sweden bad, Norway good, Trump better? I'm confused
Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold/NTB scanpix/TT & Kristin Streff/AP/TT

Sweden is neither a socialist paradise nor an internationalist hell. The truth, argues The Local's reporter Lee Roden, lies somewhere in the middle.

Sweden loses fastest internet crown
Good luck untangling those. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman /SvD /TT

Worse still, the new European king is Norway.

Where to see the Northern Lights in Sweden tonight
The Northern Lights pictured in Sweden on Wednesday night. Photo: Norrsken Sverige

An unusually high level of solar activity means the spectacle could be visible from rare spots in the country.

The Local List
These are the brands Swedes love the most
What brands do the Swedes love the most? Photo: Per Groth/Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/Pontus Lundahl/TT

Revealed: Swedes' top-20 favourite brands.

Spotify launches new karaoke style streaming in Japan
Can karaoke help Spotify to crack Japan? Photo: DocChewbacca/Flickr creative commons

The Swedish streaming giant has taken inspiration from Japan's love of karaoke with its launch in the country.

US rappers' gig ends in 'bloodbath' in Stockholm
US rapper Ghostface Killah. Photo: Scott Roth/Invision/AP

A man ran onto the stage during a concert by US rappers Ghostface Killah and Killah Priest in Stockholm.

Border checks
Could Sweden's border controls soon be lifted?
The border control at the Swedish side of the Öresund Bridge to Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

The EU-approved six-month extension of controls in the south of the country will soon come to an end.

'Homemade bomb' on bus in Sweden was bike helmet
File photo of a Swedish police officer. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A bicycle helmet sparked a bomb scare on a bus in Uppsala.

What's on in Sweden
Four don't-miss festivals in Sweden this week
Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival. Photo: Stockholm Öl & Vin AB

Arab cinema, Gay Pride, out-of-the-box art, whisky and craft beer – what more could a person in Sweden possibly need?

Sweden advised to bring conscription back in 2018
Bringing back the draft could help a stretched military, a government inquiry says. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Young men and women could be made to fill in questionnaires for recruitment to the Armed Forces as early as next year, according to a new proposal.

Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,960
jobs available