Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Saturday, 17 October 2009 09:47 UK

Rural poor children lack services

Children playing
The report found that many children missed out on after school clubs

Children from the poorest families in rural Wales are missing out on services available to disadvantaged young people in urban areas, research has found.

The End Child Poverty Network says some rural youngsters do not have access to activities such as after-school clubs and certain health services.

It said poor public transport had exacerbated the problem and children were dependent on parents for lifts.

The assembly government said progress had been made to reduce child poverty.

The report is being published to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Anita Myfanwy of the End Child Poverty Network said: "Because rural poverty is hard to see it has often been overlooked by policy makers.

'Social isolation'

"Some of these children and young people's families have lived in their communities for generations, yet some of their fundamental rights as citizens of Wales are not met.

"We see that children and young people in poverty in rural areas are often unable to participate in their communities, are unable to access free swimming schemes and after school clubs, because of where they live and their family circumstances.

"Children, young people and families experience social isolation and are especially vulnerable if they live in low-income households in rural Wales."

An assembly government spokeswoman said child poverty in Wales had fallen from 35% in 1999-2000 to 32% in 2007-08.

She added: "Over the past 10 years in Wales, the proportion of children living in poverty has fallen faster than that for the UK as a whole.

"However, we recognise that 32% of children remain in poverty and this remains a major challenge for the assembly government.

"Eradicating child poverty and improving the life chances of our children and young people is at the top of our list of priorities."

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