Child poverty and inequality: New perspectives
This report is a compilation of essays from those leading the debate on the issue of child poverty and inequalities. It draws on more than two years of UNICEF’s work collaborating with leading thinkers on these matters. The submissions in the report discuss child poverty measurement, trends in global poverty and inequality, outcomes for children, and policies to address them.
Child poverty and inequality
The report highlights the significance of poverty and inequality on children and how their experience of it differs from that of adults due to their specific needs. While an adult may enter into a situation of poverty temporarily, a short-term experience for children can have long-term consequences due to impacts on their physical and cognitive growth and development, their access to education and the lifetime consequences that deprivation in these areas can have. If children are inadequately nourished, their physical and intellectual growth and capacity is impaired, they are more vulnerable to disease, have poorer educational outcomes and are less likely to develop into productive members of society. The report states that in this respect, child poverty has the capacity to create and continue cycles of intergenerational poverty, entrenching and worsening inequality in society.
The report commences with a revision of how poverty is measured, emphasising the value of new multidimensional poverty measurements to better reflect the situation of children in the world. It documents that based on the traditional measurement of an international extreme poverty line of $1 a day, the total number of poor people around the world has declined drastically. Nevertheless, it notes the shortcomings of many estimates such as this one which due to factors such as of failing to adjust figures over time in line with inflation and the generalised macro scale at which measurement is taken fails to accurately represent the actual extent of poverty within countries and the communities within them. Additionally, the report reveals that even if extreme poverty has reduced significantly in some countries, inequalities in income and wealth has increased indicating an inequitable pace of progress.
To access the complete report see here.