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Save the Children Sweden
In Sweden more than 296 000 children lived in poverty in year 2001. One of the consequences of child poverty is that children can not do what is obvious to others. The financial situation of the family prevents them from taking part in activities obvious to other children in the society and poverty consistency is ultimately an outsider. This becomes particularly evident in the rights that are not legal, as the right to play and leisure. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is Article 31 of the right to rest and leisure, play and recreation. The Convention is clear: if children are not given the opportunity to play it is a risk this will hinder their development. Article 31 also addresses the right to participate freely in cultural and artistic life, and that States Parties should “encourage the provision of equal opportunities for cultural, artistic and recreational and leisure activities.” The CRC is saying that children need something more than just food, clothes and good health. There is also an approach which is well established in Sweden. Both state and local government invests in cultural experiences; residents should have access to the theater, library and sports. Almost all municipalities also offer local music or arts. This report addresses the cost of participating in the local music school. It also provides an illustration of how child poverty can be an obstacle to child’s right to play and leisure. What effects does a economic exclusion riks to generate? How does this affect the democratic process in a society that some groups of children regularly excluded from different types of activities?