In focus: children and poverty

In focus: children and poverty

Childhood poverty: central to achieving progress on the Millennium Development Goals

This issue of In Focus, the regular publication of the International Poverty Centre of UNDP, is devoted to the topic of childhood poverty, which is central to achieving progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and plays an important role in the transmission of disadvantage from one generation to another.

Caroline Harper from the University of Manchester discusses why it is essential to tackle child poverty, and how. Three country cases from Ethiopia, Peru and Vietnam illustrate the extent to which multiple deprivations can curtail children’s opportunities, particularly in rural areas of the developing world.

Peter Townsend from the London School of Economics questions current anti-poverty strategies and calls for a bold new initiative, a Tobin-style currency transactions tax to finance a universal child benefit.

Finally, the issue reviews two seminal reports, one commissioned by UNICEF on the appalling extent of child poverty and deprivation in developing countries and another by the ILO that calculates the costs and benefits from eliminating child labour.