• France's news in English

Three million French children living in poverty

Ben McPartland · 9 Jun 2015, 09:30

Published: 09 Jun 2015 09:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The report, published on Tuesday, contains some statistics that will be of great concern to the French government.

In all more than three million children in France are living below the poverty line, which represents one in five of the country’s child population.

That number has been boosted by an extra 440,000 children who have fallen into hardship between 2008 and 2012, as authorities failed to take into account the impact of the economic crisis.

Around 30,000 children in France are homeless with around 9,000 living in makeshift slums. Around 140,000 drop out of school each year.

France's Samu social, a service which offers emergency care to homeless people dealt with 29,000 parents and children in 2013, that's four times more than in 2004.

The report staes that around 18 percent of French children are living in a "precarious" or "very precarious" social situation.

The figures, according to the head of Unicef France Michèle Barzach, are a wake-up call to the French government, whom she urges to take action.

“The report is an alarm that should push the authorities to take urgent and more efficient action for every child,” she said.

Much of the criticism in the report centres on how France has failed to implement a real strategy towards dealing with child poverty.

"A global strategy towards childhood and adolescence still does no exist," it said, "nor is there an adequate monitoring and evaluation process."

"France could do much better with the same resources."

The organisation has also highlighted areas where France has failed to properly implement the Convention on the Rights of a Child and calls on the government to make progress.

Story continues below…

“Despite considerable efforts France has failed in part with regards to childhood and youth and these are the most vulnerable to poverty, social exclusion and discrimination,” said the report. 

Unicef France also highlighted the "unacceptable situation" surrounding many unaccompanied migrant children, which leaves them vulnerable to human trafficking.

Despite repeated recommendations by charities and and experts the situation surround migrant children remains "totally unsatisfactory and leads to undignified situations", Unicef's Barzach said.

The report also highlighted the problem with France's education system, which it said only helped "entrench inequality". 

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

How Paris is rapidly becoming Europe's 'City of Innovation'
Photo: AFP

If you want to start a company then Paris is the place to do it, it seems.

France's 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available