Children try used shoes at the reception center for refugees and asylum-seekers in Berlin, Germany, on Sept. 1, 2015. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)
BERLIN, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Child poverty affects around a fifth of German children and is often difficult to escape, a study published on Monday by the Bertelsmann foundation warns.
According to the Gueterslohe-based think-tank, 21 percent of German children experience poverty for longer than five years. An additional ten percent of children in Germany suffer from material deprivation at least once in their lives.
"Child poverty is a permanent state in Germany. Those who fall into poverty once, stay poor for a while," Bertelsmann foundation director Joerg Draeger said in a statement. Draeger also pointed out that "too few families escape from poverty" in his country.
The study defines children as poor if their household net income is lower than 60 percent of the German average.
Speaking to Xinhua, Bertelsmann foundation education expert Sarah Menne stressed that the longitudinal research conducted by Bertelsmann could offer valuable insights into the dynamics of child poverty.
"From our perspective, it is important to open pathways out of poverty to all children with experience of material deprivation, regardless of their nationality," the Bertelsmann education expert said.
As a consequence, she urged German policymakers to better "assess the needs of children" to participate successfully in society and the education system and create a corresponding "new government benefit" to alleviate material deprivation in youths.
While the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) regularly publishes figures detailing the extent of child poverty, Monday's study offered novel insights by tracing individuals social mobility between 2011 and 2015 to assess how difficult it was to escape poverty.
Findings released recently by the Federal Statistical Office suggest that the arrival of numerous families from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan has led to a rise in German child poverty.
Menne noted that by nature of the study's research design, the figures published did not account for the large number of refugees which have come to Germany since 2015. "The impact of the refugee movements of 2015 could not be included in our analysis."