Paper: ‘The definition of child poverty: A discussion of concepts and measurements’

Poverty and Inequality

Abstract This paper presents and discusses different concepts of child poverty, alternative definitions of children living in poverty, and measurement efforts in this regard. It addresses such questions as: who are the children living in poverty? Is the issue of children living in poverty recognized by and incorporated into anti-poverty strategies? Have governments, civil society organizations and international organizations identified and adopted policies to reduce child poverty? And is the situation of girls living in poverty taken into account? Several organizations have recently adopted human rights-based approaches to defining children living in poverty, and these definitions are included here.

In general, however, the assessment finds that there is a lack of consideration of children’s issues in the debate on poverty. The lack of visibility has negative implications for anti-poverty strategies, which seldom consider that children and their rights are central to their design and implementation. In this paper, we argue that the lack of conceptualization and debate on the specificities of child poverty has enormous consequences for policy and, vice versa, that the income generation and sectoral focus of poverty reduction policies discourages a holistic response to children and families.

Keywords child policies / child poverty / child rights / human rights / poverty reduction


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