To this day, more than 10% of the world population live under the international poverty line of 1.90 US dollars a day. [1] This percentage has not considered the people that live above the line but are considered poor.[2] [3] The common belief about poverty is that a person cannot generate enough income to support their basic needs such as food, shelter, or education [4]. Though this monetary definition of poverty is simple to measure and compare internationally, it does not capture the complexity of poverty as a whole. One of the reasons is that one cannot buy the goods if they are not available on the market or have a monetary value [5]. Hence, when we attempt to understand poverty, it must not start with whether one can afford something but whether one has the opportunity to access it. This concept is called multidimensional poverty, where its measurements encompass the many disadvantages and deprivations experienced by poor people.  These often include a lack of health, adequate living standards, education, safe living and working environment, empowerment, personal security, and others [6].

Understanding poverty is even more important, especially when it comes to children. Children experience poverty and well-being differently compared to adults and between their age groups. Since children do not have control over household income, which may indicate adult well-being, they are dependent on others to fulfil their rights. These fundamental rights can be affected by the household allocation of resources and priorities and the availability of services. Research has shown that poverty experienced during childhood can have a long-lasting effect on a child’s cognitive, physical, and social development[7]. It can undermine a child’s physical and mental health, setting them on a lifelong trajectory of low-level educations and productivity, thus locking them in poverty for generations[8].

“A child is considered poor if s/he is deprived of at least one of the following rights which constitute poverty: shelter, education, information, water, sanitation, health and nutrition”  - Global report on Global report on Child Poverty in the Developing World, 2003

[1] BANK, T. W. 2020. Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020: Reversals of Fortune [Online]. Washington, DC: The World Bank.  [Accessed: 19/9/2021].

 [2] ATAGUBA, J. E. O., ICHOKU, H. E. & FONTA, W. M. 2013. Multidimensional poverty assessment: applying the capability approach. International Journal of Social Economics, 40, 331 - 354.

 [3] ROELEN, K., GASSMANN, F. & C. de NEUBOURG, C. 2010. “Child poverty in Vietnam: Providing insights using a country-specific and multidimensional model.” Social Indicators Research, 98, 129– 145. doi:10.1007/s11205-009-9522-x

 [4] BADER, C., BIERI, S., WIESMANN, U. & HEINIMANN, A. 2016. Differences Between Monetary and Multidimensional Poverty in the Lao PDR: Implications for Targeting of Poverty Reduction Policies and Interventions. Poverty & public policy, 171- 197.

 [5] THORBECKE, E. ( 2007). “Multidimensional poverty: Conceptual and measurement issues.” In N. Kakwani & J. Silber (Eds.), The many dimensions of poverty. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

 [6] (OPHI), O. P. A. H. D. I. 2015. ‘Measuring multidimensional poverty: Insights from around the world’ [Online]. University of Oxford: University of Oxford. Available: [Accessed 9/9 2021].

 [7] CARRARO, A. & CHZHEN, Y. 2019. Multidimensional child poverty measurement in Sierra Leone and Lao PDR: Contrasting individual- and household-based approaches, Innocenti Working Papers no. 2019-05, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, Florence

 [8] ALDERMAN, H., HODDINOTT, J. & KINSEY, B. 2006. Long Term Consequences of Early Childhood Malnutrition. Oxford Economic Papers New Series, 58, 450-474