poverty metro 88224.
(photo credit: Jerusalem Post Archives)
The Council for the Welfare of the Child has issued its report for 2007 and has painted a bleak picture of Haifa's children, reports Yediot Haifa. Some 4,551 Haifa children - 7.7 percent of all the children in the city -- live in families that get income assurance (avtahat hachnasa) from the government because they have little or no income, compared with 3,176 children - 4% - in the larger city of Tel Aviv. And some 9,275 Haifa children are "known" to the city's welfare services for various reasons, including a rising incidence of abuse and neglect.
According to the report, children of immigrants are particularly at risk, with 2,944 of the 11,599 children of immigrants - 25.3% - known to welfare services. The report also showed a worrying rise in the number of children suspected of having been abused or neglected, with 1,698 children reported in 2006 compared with 1,397 in 2005. The reports included physical, sexual and mental abuses, and included 170 homeless children, all under the age of 14.
The council also considered the city's education system, and found that while 66.9% of Jewish 12th-grade students passed their matriculation (bagrut) examinations, only 57.1% of Arab students did so, and that even this figure was inflated by the high percentage of Arab students who dropped out before 12th grade and did not even take the exams.
The report, which was presented to the Knesset and to President Shimon Peres, said that every society had a duty to examine how its children were being treated, and it aimed to point out areas that needed attention.
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