Child Poverty

What is child poverty? How is it different from poverty in general? Is child poverty just children living in poverty?

Child poverty is the intersection where vulnerability meets vulnerability. It’s poverty amplified.

The poor are vulnerable. They are denied rights, deprived of opportunity and struggle through disadvantage just to survive.

Children are vulnerable too. They need their parents to take care of them, teach them and prepare them for life. Without a parent or guardian, children in poverty are easy prey for disease and despair, exploitation and death.

A poor child experiences poverty as an assault on her entire being. Child poverty attacks a child in his formative years, when he has little to no protection. It deprives him of food, clean drinking water, proper sanitation, health, shelter, education and information. It stunts a child’s social, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual development. Child poverty robs children of their childhood and their future. Poverty prevents children from fulfilling their potential.

The photos below contrast poverty and children — oppression versus resilience. All of the photos  are available to license.

A poor child is standing near the dump in the slum where he lives. Another boy caught in child poverty is standing on a bridge in the background. The bridge spans the dump and a sewage drainage ditch.

Child Poverty — Kenya

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File size: 12.7 MB
Image size: 5616 × 3744

A poor child is standing near the dump in the slum where he lives. Another boy caught in child poverty is standing on a bridge in the background. The bridge spans the dump and a sewage drainage ditch.

A poor child wearing a white shirt and blue shorts bows and smiles while leaning back against a white building.

Child Poverty — Indonesia

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File size: 9.9 MB
Image size: 5616 × 3744

A poor child wearing a white shirt and blue shorts bows at the waist while tilting his head up and smiling. He leans against a white wooden building behind him.

A poor child in Uganda kneels in the entryway to a building.

Child Poverty — Uganda

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File size: 12.6 MB
Image size: 5066 × 3840

A poor child in a yellow shirt and shorts kneels in the doorway to a building. She presses her right side against a wall. She is bald and missing several of her bottom teeth.

A poor child sits on a yellow bucket radiating shyness and cuteness through her smile and body language.

Child Poverty — Burkina Faso

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File size: 10.6 MB
Image size: 5472 × 3648

A poor child sits on a yellow bucket radiating shyness and cuteness through her smile and body language.

A poor child wearing a blue patterned sweater and dark pants sits on a concrete step in front of weathered blue wood doors.

Child Poverty — Tanzania

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File size: 12.5 MB
Image size: 5229 × 3486

A poor child wearing a blue patterned sweater and dark pants sits on a concrete step in front of a light blue wooden door. He has his hands tucked under his legs and a smile on his face.

PicturesofPoverty.com is presented by Compassion International