Kids ignored in dealing with Groningen earthquakes: Children's Ombudsman

Too little attention is paid to children and young people in the Groningen earthquake zone, Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer said in a new study published on Wednesday. The study found that some of the 30 thousand kids and young people living in the area affected by gas extraction earthquakes, struggle to deal with the earthquakes and their consequences, AD reports.

While most of the children in the area indicated that they are doing well, there are some that are having problems. For example, the presence of damage experts in their home causes unrest, children are worried about possible relocations, and some suffer under the vacancy and demolition of buildings in their surroundings. Some of the children also said the feel their parents' stress. 

A small group of children in the area said that they are afraid, sleep poorly and are pessimistic about the future. Aid workers and other professional also noted serious problems in a small group of children, including excessive worrying, concentration problems and an urge to control everything.

According to the Ombudsman, it is high time that children's needs are noticed in the area. "For too long, the children and young people in the earthquake area have been forgotten", she said. Among other things, she wants more attention to signaling the problems children and young people in the area experience. And that information provision and aid about the earthquakes no longer be solely focused on adults. 

For the study, Kalverboer spoke with children and young people in the area, as well as interest groups, professionals and other responsible parties. 146 children also completed a questionnaire about their lives. 


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