OSLO, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The latest data from Norway's statistics bureau show that 36 percent of immigrant children are living in poverty in the Nordic country, compared to just 5 percent of children with Norwegian parents, newspaper Dagsavisen reported on Thursday.
The numbers are somewhat higher in Oslo, according to a recent report on children and young adults with an immigrant background. The report was published by Statistics Norway researcher Elisabeth Omholt together with her colleagues.
Generally, many children of immigrant background in Oslo live in households with low professional engagement and on social benefits, Omholt said, adding that some immigrant children, mostly those from East European families with a short stay in Norway, have parents that work but receive low income.
Athar Ali, head of the Norwegian Immigrant Forum, an organization established in 1993 working for a multicultural and anti-racist society in Norway, said there are probably two main reasons for far more immigrant children living in poverty.
"I believe that adult immigrants easily lose their jobs or have difficulty to get one. Many of them cannot use their education and experience from home country," Ali told Dagsavisen.
"In addition to this, there are many big immigrant families with only one income. Although there are more employed women with immigrant background than before, there are still many big families that live with only one income," he said.
Work on integration will be more difficult when there are so many poor immigrants, Ali said, adding that an important condition for integration is that everyone has the same possibilities in the society and that should be gender equality.
Ali, who also works as a clinical social worker in the Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, said that poverty and living conditions are also a source of psychiatric problems for people with an immigrant background.
"Studies show that people with an immigrant background are more exposed to psychological issues like fear and depression. Some of the reasons for this are poverty, bad living conditions and isolation. This leads to negative consequences for child upbringing and makes people's lives difficult," he said. Enditem