In France, more than one in five children live below the poverty line, according to UNICEF
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On the occasion of the International Day of the Rights of the Child, Unicef ​​reveals Sunday, in a press release, that more than one in five children in France lives below the poverty line. More than 42,000 live in emergency accommodation, makeshift shelters or on the streets. A “worrying” situation according to Adeline Hazan, president of Unicef ​​France.

UNICEF is sounding the alarm. More than one child in five lives below the poverty line and more than 42,000 are homeless: France still needs to make progress to guarantee the rights of children, in particular those of the most fragile, points out the United Nations organization .

Social and territorial inequalities prevent “too many children from having access to school, health or protection services”, deplores Unicef ​​France in a press release on Sunday November 20, on the occasion of the international children’s rights day.

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“The most vulnerable children, whether in a situation of extreme poverty, disability, victims of violence (…) struggle to see their most basic rights guaranteed”, adds the organization, which is preparing a report for experts from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In addition, France resorts to practices contrary to the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, such as the administrative detention of children when families in an irregular situation are going to be deported, denounces UNICEF.

“The situation is worrying”

Since 2012, at least 33,786 children have been placed in detention, the vast majority of them in Mayotte and 1,460 in mainland France.

“The situation is worrying, even if progress has been made. Minors are not sufficiently protected in France, they cannot sufficiently live their life as children”, commented to AFP Adeline Hazan, president of the UNICEF France. She judges in an interview with the Sunday newspaper that the confinement of children in detention centers for foreigners must be “prohibited”.

Unicef ​​recognizes improvements since 2016, the date of the last evaluation of France by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. For example, it emphasizes the development of public policies targeted at children.

In 2019, the government launched a plan to combat violence against children. It has also put measures in place to strengthen support for a child’s first 1,000 days.

These policies are however “very scattered”, which harms “their readability” and “their effectiveness”, however regrets Unicef ​​which calls for the creation of a Ministry for Children.

In her interview with the JDD, Adeline Hazan also denounces the difficulties of children’s access to mental health. “You have to wait six months to a year and a half to have an appointment in a medico-psychological center”, she laments, but “the consequences are sometimes dramatic, leading to hospitalization of children or adolescents”.

As for Childhood Social Assistance (ASE), “there are more and more children” entrusted to it “but the average cost of care is decreasing, and with it the quality of reception “, she points.

With AFP

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