One in four children in EU now at risk of poverty – Unicef report

In a piece for the Irish Independent, Maeve McTaggart reports on a new report from Unicef showing a quarter of kids in European countries suffer from poverty or social exclusion, and one-fifth of teenagers have depression or anxiety: 

“One in four children in the European Union are now at risk of poverty or social exclusion, according to a new report from UNICEF.

It marks an increase of one million children since 2019, bringing the total number of children at risk of poverty across the EU to 20 million.

The report also notes that more than 11 million children and young people have mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, impacting one-fifth of teenagers aged 15-19.

‘The State of Children in the European Union 2024’, published today, highlights the prevalence of challenges faced by children living in countries across the EU, including rising poverty, deteriorating mental health, online sexual abuse, and exposure to pollution.

Nearly one in 10 children were found to be exposed to high levels of pesticide pollution, with 471 deaths of young people attributed to air pollution in 2019. The majority were under the age of one.

The report also highlighted that one in eight children as young as 12 regularly receive unwanted sexual requests online, noting that rapid developments in technology have exposed children to abuse, including hate speech, cyberbullying and sexual exploitation.

‘The EU is one of the most prosperous regions in the world, yet high rates of poverty and social exclusion, mental health problems, exposure to pollution, and numerous risks online are depriving millions of children of opportunities, and undermining the potential of the EU’s youngest generation,’ said Bertrand Bainvel, UNICEF’s Representative to EU Institutions.”

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  1. I imagine the drug companies see this as an opportunity. In these times, it seems there is something prescribed for every affliction. A different kind of prescription for loneliness, isolation, or other things, is a regular dose of conversation, as needed. This formulation does not contain any problem solving, lecturing, or advice. It is just a blend of becoming aware and keeping in touch. Everyone is licensed to dispense this medication, which if given properly, can provide feelings of being cared about and belonging.

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