These are hard times for Greek children.

The article on Al Jazeera titled ‘Greece child abuse raises as economy falters’ clearly states Greek children as the losers. There is an increase of neglect and abuse of children by distressed parents that can no longer support their families due to Greece’s economic crisis. Unfortunately, there are limited organisations such as Smile of The Child and SOS Children Villages that can cope with the growing number of cases. While the organisations mentioned started out as shelters for abused children, they are now forced to look after abandoned children that have nowhere to go. These organisations have no government support and solely depend on funds from individuals or private donors, which is not sustainable. As the issue of child neglect and abuse continues to grow, these organisations will soon become understaffed and will barely manage to provide the adequate care needed with have the limited facilities they have access to. Moreover, even those children who still live with their families are suffering and going hungry. This affects the children’s development, mental and physical health as well as their ability to focus on their education. Most families that are stable enough to look after their children have to depend on aid from organisations like Smile of The Child. Greece now has the fourth highest rate of childhood poverty in the European Union.

Greece is going through a significant social distress; families are breaking up and falling apart. Parents are abandoning their children and depending on drugs and alcohol to deal with the hardships. The rise of unemployment and poverty has also lead to rise in suicide rates among adults. I have previously read somewhere that suicide rates in Greece have gone up by a shocking 45 % during the past 4 years of the financial crisis.

The case of Greece clearly shows the negative impacts of an economic or debt crisis on family life and on children especially.It also shows the pressures and burdens of living in the contemporary developed world where losing one’s job might signify the end of the world. Even though globalisation has its perks of technological advances and interconnectedness, the reality of the Greek debt crisis proves that the global economy is more vulnerable to shocks as a result of globalisation. Economical meltdowns are no longer confined to single nation states but have become a complicated global problem. Globalisation has led to the interconnectedness of the economy at an international level and the international lending and trading system. The financial systems of nations are now highly depended on each other. With Greek children being abandoned on the door steps of hospitals, schools, and churches, they suffer the consequence of debt crisis and globalisation. As the Greek crisis drags on with no solution in sight, the problem will continue to outgrow limited resources and capability. The lack of interest in a state intervention, a rational national strategy or a plan of action makes the future for Greece’s children look bleak.

Balqis Hindash (M00385581, MDX Dubai campus)


One thought on “These are hard times for Greek children.

  1. Interesting point; despite the fact that the interconnectedness of the global economy definitely has its perks – increased interdependence definitely makes the entire system more vulnerable to shocks, as the example of Greece demonstrates.. once again it seems that children are most definitely the losers within this scenario. Perhaps a solution to this is to include children and young people within decision making processes that impact them, even if it just acts as a way to heighten their awareness to certain rights that they have.

    Deena Abdo

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