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Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 03:22 GMT 04:22 UK
One in five children 'deprived'
Impoverished children
The report says up to four million UK children are poor
Up to four million UK children are trapped in poverty, according to a United Nations report.

It says Britain has one of the worst records on childhood poverty in the industrialised world.

UN children's organisation Unicef estimates that nearly 20% of young people live in UK families below the official poverty line - the household income below half median earnings.

The report being launched on Tuesday is expected to praise the government for trying to take over one million children out of deprivation.

Poor international record

Unicef said the UK's 20% of young people living in families below the poverty line compared to less than 5% in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

The UK also falls short of standards in Turkey, Poland and Hungary.

It also remains stuck in the bottom quarter of the world's child poverty league when it is judged on absolute poverty - where household income is below the US official poverty line.

It came 14th out of 19 inspected countries, just above Italy.

Advance details of the report appear in The Observer newspaper, which said the UK failed on key indicators of childhood poverty.

They include the number of lone parent families suffering from poverty, the numbers of workless households, and the numbers of people on poor wages or low benefits.

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See also:

18 Mar 99 | UK Politics
Pledge to eliminate child poverty
08 Dec 99 | UK
Q and A: What is poverty?
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