Inadequacy or Simply a Poor Show –
Child poverty in affluent Europe

Length: 55 minutes (ARTE, 10 Jan. 2006, 8:40 p.m.), theme evening: “Poor Children”)

Poverty in the prosperous EU: For many children this puts them at a number of disadvantages. First of all in terms of education: They don’t perform as well at school, and they abandon their schooling more frequently. Or in terms of health: They are more prone to have health problems than children from families that are better off. Or in material opportunities: Holidays are frequently simply not an option. Nevertheless - as was shown to be the case in Germany, as well as in England and France - when parents don’t have much, they scrape together all the available cash there is in order to at least be able to buy gifts for the children. They’d rather notch their belts tighter, scrimp on food or the car, but at all costs they want to avoid having their children experience poverty as a restriction on their lives. Governments help to different degrees: The situation in England remains the worst, albeit in the last 5 years the government has managed to reduce what was once the highest rate of child poverty throughout Europe by 25%. Sums in the billions are being pumped into early childhood education in order to enable the chance for equal opportunities at a pre-school age. The situation in Germany is a different story: The social inequalities that had been relatively well cushioned in the past are now being scaled steadily downwards towards the British level. The stance in France is slightly better, but here too a persistently high degree of unemployment is ensuring a lasting, high level of child poverty. On the other hand, Scandinavia poses a major contrast, first and foremost in Denmark, where poverty for children and families is as good as non-existent. What are the Danes doing better? The film takes us through 4 countries in Europe on a quest for answers as to where combatting poverty can be initiated and which models seem promising.

Video (ca. 10 mnGerman))

More information at ARTE :
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