Natisni vsebino

Poverty in Slovenia on the Rise, Children Increasingly Affected

17.10.2013 11:23

Ljubljana, 17 October (STA) - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will also help on Thursday raise awareness about discouraging trends in Slovenia, where 271,000 people or 13.5% of the population lived below the poverty threshold last year. The figure keeps rising as a result of the crisis, with children increasingly becoming the victims of poverty too.

Apart from the 271,000 mentioned, of which 147,000 were women, 121,000 more were socially excluded, which makes for a total of 19.6%, according to Statistics Office data.

The poverty threshold stood at EUR 606 per adult household member monthly last year and the largest group not reaching the threshold were pensioners with 31%, followed minors with 19%.

Employed people with low or sporadic income are also doing increasingly worse, as 20% live bellow the poverty threshold. The figure for unemployed persons is 19% and for other inactive persons, such as those incapable of working, housewives and students, 11%.

The data justifies the frequent warnings coming from Human Rights Ombudsman Vlasta Nussdorfer, who is constantly facing poverty and social distress while working on the ground.

Nussdorfer has been particularly worried about the situation of children from poor families, who she believes should not share the fate of their parents.

Psychologist Ljubica Marjanovič Umek also points out that children growing up in poverty have severely hampered prospects in terms of development and are scarred primarily because of how they perceive their position among peers and social groups in general.

While the civil society has been warning that charity should not serve as something that absolves the state of its duties in fighting poverty, the number of people turning to Caritas and the Red Cross has been rising fast.

Caritas, which has more than 5,000 households asking for aid in different forms each month, has reported a 20% rise in request for financial aid this year.

More than 120,000 people received food from Caritas last year, while the Red Cross said the number of people it had to help with food had risen from 105,431 in 2008 by more than 44,000 until 2012. Together the two charities helped more than 270,000 people with food last year.

The Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Ministry has said it is trying to alleviate poverty with a number of measures, while it argued that the solution does not lie in social transfers but above all in addressing the reasons of the economic crisis, in employment and everything related to it.

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