Every tenth child in Montenegro is poor
PODGORICA, Montenegro, 20 April, 2012 - Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Suad Numanovic and UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks launched the first ever Child Poverty Study in Montenegro at an event in the capital Podgorica today.
The study shows that 10% of children and 6.1% of adults live in poverty in Montenegro with monthly expenditure below the poverty line, which is now 169.98 Euros per person.
"Child poverty is unique and we as a society need to understand it so we can work together to mitigate its impact upon children. We hope this study will contribute to better understanding of child poverty, and that it will help spark discussion and lead to action." UNICEF Representative in Montenegro Benjamin Perks said.
Child poverty is most heavily concentrated amongst children under five; those in large , those whose parents have not finished secondary school and particularly children from the north of Montenegro and from rural areas.
Child poverty is a social problem which blights every country in the world, including the wealthiest and is a major challenge for governments, societies and communities everywhere.
"The Child Poverty Study in Montenegro provides insight into the life of poor children and their families and the many difficulties they face in different areas. Quality information from this study will serve us to continue with the implementation of appropriate policies and actions aimed at reducing the problem of child poverty in our country which will give a concrete contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and European integration," said Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Suad Numanovic.
Child poverty is unique because its impacts on child development are irreversible and will stay with the child throughout their entire lifecycle. Poor children are less likely to excel at school and more likely to suffer from ill health. They are more vulnerable to economic shocks, disasters and even exploitation and abuse. Child poverty is not just about income, it affects all aspects of childhood.
UNICEF Economic and Social Policy Officer Slobodan Živković presented key results and explained the methodology used in making the Study.
"Poor households with children are on average 19km away from the nearest Primary Healthcare Centre and 12 km away from the nearest primary school. And only every forth poor household with children has a vehicle. The study shows that the percentage of poor children is almost six times higher in rural than in urban areas of Montenegro. Also, in the north of Montenegro child poverty rate is four times higher than in the central part of Montenegro and almost two times higher than in the south of the country," Živković concluded.
Two short movies describing the issue of poverty that were produced by children during the One Minute Juniors workshop held in Kolasin in March, were also shown during the launch of Child Poverty Study.
Findings of the first Child Poverty Study in Montenegro will contribute to ongoing policy dialogue on how to address the situation of poor children and their families.