Poverty :: UN General Assembly adopts powerful definition of child poverty

The UN General Assembly has adopted a powerful definition of child poverty, acknowledging that while poverty harms everyone, children experience poverty differently.

?Children living in poverty are deprived of nutrition, water and sanitation facilities, access to basic health-care services, shelter, education, participation and protection, and that while a severe lack of goods and services hurts every human being, it is most threatening and harmful to children, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, to reach their full potential and to participate as full members of the society,? according to the General Assembly in its annual resolution on the rights of the child.

According to this new definition, measuring child poverty can no longer be lumped together with general poverty assessments which often focus solely on income levels, but must take into consideration access to basic social services, especially nutrition, water, sanitation, shelter, education and information.

Investing in children is the best way to break the cycle of poverty. Children are essential actors both in their development and in the development of their society.

If poverty is understood as more than just income poverty, then responses need to address the broader picture of children?s experience of poverty. This can be achieved through policies that result in positive changes for children ? creating better laws, increased budget allocations and better services for children

The definition adopted by the General Assembly contributes to making children visible in policy debates. This is an opportunity that cannot be missed ? not only because the world has committed to reaching the Millennium Development Goals for its children, but because children are the agents of a more prosperous and equitable society.

Leave a Comment