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Immigrant children at disadvantage in rich countries: UN report

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday said that many immigrant children and youth in the eight affluent countries are at disadvantage compared with the native children and youth.

The report, a new study by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Center in Florence, Italy, presents for the first time, internationally comparable data addressing the number, share and family circumstances of immigrant children in eight industrialized countries: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"Despite their differences in cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds, children in immigrant families often are similar to their peers in native families in their family composition and parental employment, but they often experience educational and economic challenges and higher poverty rates," said Professor Donald Hernandez, who is the author of the study and is an expert on social policies.

Children in immigrant families account for a large share of all children in the countries reviewed in the study. However, very little is known about the living conditions of these children.

Children of migrants are far from being a homogeneous population. In some cases their family profiles are not dissimilar from that of other children of the country of settlement.

In many of the countries in the report, most of the children in immigrant families live with two parents, and are more likely than children in native-born families to live in households with two or more siblings. One child in ten has at least one parent who is a citizen of the country of settlement.

The report also finds that the immigrant youth's access to schooling, their risk of not being enrolled, educational and employment outcomes also depend on their country of origin.

Children in immigrant families today will be increasingly prominent as workers, voters and parents in the coming years. Their integration and social inclusion will shape the future of the affluent host countries.
 

 
 
 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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