Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Czech survey: Young people often inherit poverty

ČTK |
14 February 2018

Prague, Feb 13 (CTK) - Poverty is often inherited in the Czech Republic and young people from a poor background are frequently burdened by their parents' debts, they can hardly find jobs and flats, have no positive models and are unable to deal with their situation on their own, according to a Czech Caritas survey.

The survey was conducted in April 2017 among 85 social field workers of the Czech Caritas organisation, which released its results to CTK on Tuesday.

The survey was part of a broad project covering 17 European countries that tried to identify why young people suffered from poverty. It showed that the part of society facing poverty in the Czech Republic is smaller than in other EU countries, but those in need suffered from more serious problems.

While young people abroad suffer mainly from unemployment, in the Czech Republic they face problems related to their low education, debts, unavailable accommodation and bad family backgrounds. Moreover, Czech single or divorced mothers are not paid child maintenance and the welfare system is not set well.

Caritas Europa general secretary Jorge Nuno Mayer said the survey showed that the transfer of poverty between generations has clear causes: many young people know no other way of life, they have no positive models and they are unable to improve their situation by themselves.

According to the Eurostat figures for December 2017, the unemployment rate of young people under 25 was 4.9 percent in the Czech Republic, while the EU average was 16.1 percent. In 2014, 16.3 percent of young Czechs were threatened with poverty and social exclusion, while the EU average was 29.7 percent.

The Czech survey concluded that young single mothers, young people who left children's homes or poor ghettos and disabled people are among those most threatened with poverty.

It is not uncommon in the Czech Republic that even children get indebted, for example because their parents did not pay fees for waste removal on their behalf, because they failed to be fines for fare-dodging or a cell phone bill.

The Czech Caritas recommended that children be protected and not obliged to pay the debts of their parents. Fewer money should be taken from debtors to motivate them to have jobs, and debt forgiveness should be available to more people.

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