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Child poverty in France

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Council for Employment, Income and Social Cohesion
Publication Date: 
17 Feb 2004

Available in print (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpts from summary:

Based on this analysis, the Council proposes the implementation of a nation-wide program to combat child poverty, and outlines its content.

This analysis highlights three main issues:

- Child poverty stems mainly from the under-employment of parents. In the current climate of mass unemployment that affects the less-qualified in particular, certain parents face not only difficulties in finding work, but also problems in reconciling their professional life and their parental duties. Financial aid for child care is not enough to facilitate this reconciliation: this aid is not sufficient for a large majority of low-income families to pay for child care . It is essential to create a local public service offering quality child care for pre-school and school-aged children, just as in the Scandinavian countries.

- Child poverty is particularly pronounced among immigrant families and points in particular to the problems of integration of these families in French society. This makes it all the more essential to fight discrimination in employment, housing, etc. that penalizes the parents and discourages the children.

- Child poverty is linked to the insufficiency in transfer payments associated with the presence of a child. With budgets remaining constant, a greater redistribution through transfer payments could contribute to combat child poverty.

The fight against child poverty is essential, not only from a perspective of social justice but also for the steady construction of cohesion in our society - being born into or growing up in a poor family increases the risk of exclusion or poverty for persons, once adult.