Welfare Norway fails thousands of children

Red Cross Social Pulse Welfare NorwaySosial Puls. Photo: Røde Kors

Welfare Norway fails thousands of children

A report made by the Red Cross and Statistics Norway (SSB) reveals system failure and large holes in the welfare network for children and adolescents in Norway.


The report “Social Pulse” reveals that half of humanitarian needs in Norway are directly linked to children and adolescents.

60,000 children are exposed to serious violence from parents during their childhood and adolescence.

63,000 schoolchildren are experiencing bullying.

More than 10,000 children are covered by child welfare care measures.

100,000 children and young people grow up in poverty, and 73,000 aged 15 to 29 are out of school or work.

General Secretariat of the Red Cross, Bernt Apeland, believes we must have zero tolerance for children to suffer without the follow-up they are entitled to.

– For many, it is a novel experience to talk about humanitarian needs when talking about our own country, but the fact is that there are many children and young people in Norway who suffer without getting the help they need, he says.

– It is not acceptable that we fail children when they need us the most, he emphasizes.

The needs are increasing

Volunteer Red Cross workers report of increased needs. The number of inquiries to the call offer ‘Cross my Heart’ (Kors på halsen), has in recent years increased significantly.

– We had an increase of almost 30 percent this summer. Over 500 of the inquiries pertained to bullying, violence and abuse, says Apeland.

At the same time, the Red Cross has never had so many families with children who want a holiday offer as this summer.

– Greater efforts also mean we have to reject several families with children who wish to participate in our holiday activities. This summer, 2,400 children and adults travel on 51 holiday stays together with 350 volunteers. 2,930 has unfortunately been refused their application for a holiday, says Apeland in the press release from the Red Cross.

– This report shows how much remains to ensure that all children have a safe upbringing, he says.

Children dominate

The groups with the largest humanitarian needs are:

  • Seriously addicted people.
  • Children who are exposed to abuse, violence, bullying and neglect
  • Asylum seekers, especially children, and those who have been refused stay
  • Elderly with and without dementia, in nursing homes
  • Persons with severe mental disorders
  • Long-term social assistance recipients
  • Poor families with children
  • Young outside or at the edge of work and education.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today