Latin America & The Caribbean: Study on Child Poverty and Disparities

Focal points for the Child Poverty Study in Latin America & the Caribbean are Enrique Delamonica & Jean Gough
Study Abstract


This study represents the first measurement of multidimensional child poverty at the regional level in Latin America and the Caribbean. The study results show that approximately 45% of the population under 18 lives in poverty. In 2007, approximately 18% of children lived in extreme poverty, where they are severely deprived of one or more basic needs. However, the realities of children are very heterogeneous from one country to another. In countries with the highest rate of child poverty (Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru), almost 41% of the children were extremely poor, whereas for other countries in the region (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic) just under 14% of children were living in extreme poverty. Furthermore, across the region, 1 out of 3 indigenous and afrodescendant children lives in extreme poverty, and an alarming 9 out of 10 rural indigineous children live in extreme poverty.  Chronic malnutrition is a major problem in the region, affecting 8.8 million children. 

Study Policy Recommendations

In order to eliminate child poverty, governments must integrate social policies, employment policies and macroeconomic policies. More specific policy recommendations of the report include:

  • Increasing resources to promote the rights of children, that in turn ensure a protective environment;
  • Increasing the provision and quality of services, and expanding social Latin protection systems;
  • The chances of children and girls being left behind are high, indicating the need for targeted social policies that and create a framework of universal policies that promote inclusion.

Child Poverty Study in the News

The study Child Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean develops rights-based measurement and diagnosis of child poverty in the region and seeks to put forward public policy recommendations to overcome the problem, pointing to a very uneven situation among countries.
-  Latin Daily Financial News

U.N. Agency says 45 percent of Latin America's children live in poverty


The report said there is a great heterogeneity among the countries in the region, with Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru reporting more than two thirds of their children and adolescents to be living in poverty while in Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay less that one of every four minors live in poverty.


-  English People’s Daily