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Young people who grow up poor in the Caribbean Netherlands often end up in a vicious cycle of problems. To break this cycle, an urgent and comprehensive approach to combatting youth poverty is needed.
This is what the National Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children recommend in their joint report on the topic, titled A poor beginning. The study, which focuses on poverty among Dutch Caribbean young adults, outlines the many hurdles people in this demographic face as they try to escape poverty, complicating their transition to adulthood.
‘Young people who grow up in poverty are usually dealing with more than one problem – they face a whole host of issues,’ says Ombudsman for Children Margrite Kalverboer. ‘They end up in a repetitive pattern which is passed down from one generation to the next. We need to break that pattern.’
‘The severity of the poverty problem calls for rapid intervention,’ says National Ombudsman and Ombudsman for Veterans Reinier van Zutphen. ‘To fight poverty, we need short-term action, facilitated by a concerted collaborative effort. The vicious cycle of poverty must be broken, so that young people in the Caribbean Netherlands have a fair chance of escaping their circumstances.’