Friday, April 21, 2017

Another refugee myth exposed

Despite Germany's booming economy and social safety net, more youth in Germany are living under the poverty line, says a new study. But the trend does not hold for German-born children.

"What is not happening is that German children are suffering because refugees are getting money handed to them left and right," Eric Seils, who conducted the study, told DW "German-born children aren't faring worse, their poverty rates didn't go up because of the refugee crisis. They're not doing worse. For me, that's a key point," he added.
 North Rhine-Westphalia, which has also received the highest number of refugees, saw poverty fall among minors. By contrast, the eastern state of Thuringia saw child poverty rise even though it took in some of the lowest numbers of refugees.
Many of those who fled to Germany have come from warzones, like Syria, or countries with extreme poverty, like Eritrea. After a dangerous journey and many hardships, many refugees arrive traumatized - a psychological state worsened by an uncertain legal status and the foreignness of the new quotidian. Some of these symptoms overlap with those caused by chronic poverty: depression, social isolation and a lack of self-esteem. Refugee children must grapple with both.
"Integration into the labor market is key to ending child poverty," says Kamp. "A parent living in poverty automatically causes a child to live in poverty."

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