Child poverty applies to children from poor families or orphans being raised with limited or absent resources. Children that fail to meet the minimum acceptable standard of the nation where they live are said to be living in poverty. In developing countries these standards are low, compared to more developed countries. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) "children living in poverty are those who experience deprivation of the material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to stay alive, develop and thrive, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential, and participate as full and equal members of society".

  • Children’s right: art 27 UN CRC. Children have the right to a standard of living that is adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual , moral and social development. Indirectly: art 6, 24 UN CRC. Children have the right to survive and develop to the maximum extent possible. Children have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 1: To end poverty in all its forms everywhere. Indirectly: SDG 2, 3, 4, 6: Zero hunger, good health, good education and clean water & sanitation.


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What is the problem with child poverty?
Poverty has a devastating impact on children’s lives. It can lead to children missing out on decent meals, sleeping in cold bedrooms, as well as drastically reducing their future life chances. Additionally, children living in poverty are more likely to experience mental health problems, have a low sense of well-being, underachieve at school, have employment difficulties in adult life, experience social deprivation, feel unsafe, experience stigma and bullying at school. An estimated 767 million people, including children, are living in extreme poverty - living at or below $1.90 a day. Every year 5.9 million children die before the age of five; under-nourishment is responsible for 45 percent of all under five deaths. Millions of children do not have access to primary education or do not complete primary school; the number of children of primary school age who where out of school was 58 million in 2012; 8% of all children don't complete primary school.

Why is the preventing of poverty important for children?
Children living in poverty are more likely to feel like a failure and have a sense of hopeless about their future than the others. As a result, they have a more significant risk of developing mental health problems. Growing up in poverty has long lasting consequences for children and the societies that they live in. Poverty undermines children’s immediate wellbeing as well as biological and cognitive development.

What can you do?

  • Learn about the rights you have as a child
  • Find the right authorities that can help you if you and your family and struggling financially
  • Report to the state authorities any situation of poverty that you encounter