Poverty May Lead to Delinquency - Mary Anne Zammit

Zminijietna – Harga Jannar - Marzu 2009


No matter how progressive a particular society may be, delinquency always prevails. Juvenile Delinquency, arises from socio personal disorganization and experiences that shape behavior problems and a result of socio economic failure.

These are among the multitude of factors which lead someone to engage in delinquent behavior but poverty and lack of acceptance are also amongst the leading factors. Poverty can present itself in many facades but mainly it is linked to inadequate income resources. In our modern days we still get millions of people across Europe who are facing poverty.

This reality is also affecting the Maltese scenario, even though at times it is denied by some who try to portray a totally different picture of this situation. Yet, the recent study undertaken by the National Commissions of the Family and which was presented to the parliamentary committee for social affairs adhere to this reality. The report which was conducted by Dr. Angela Abela and Rev. Dr. Charles Tabone indicates that 21% of children in Malta live in relative poverty.

Whilst, numerous opportunities are being created for our children in order to help them expand in their talents, other children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds are being left behind. According to the report, children who are experiencing poverty and living in poor conditions do not achieve at school and are secluded from social life and other activities. In the long term the possibilities for them finding a decent job are highly unlikely as with lack of skills and education they become unemployable and the chances of delinquency are high.

The findings of the study should come as a warning if we want to provide a better future for our children. Enhancing Social policy measures would definitely ensure that there is more equality in areas such as education, health and housing ensuring that all children live in a healthy upbringing.

M.A.Zammit - Diploma in Applied Social Studies(Social Work), PQ Diploma in Probation Services

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