Poverty and violations of children’s right to protection in low- and middle-income countries: a review of the evidence

Research reports and studies
December 2014
Rachel Marcus

The abuse, neglect and exploitation of children is a serious and neglected social problem, with major long-term economic and human development implications in low- and middle-income countries. As a contribution to emerging practice and debate in this area, ODI and the Oak Foundation are undertaking a two-year programme of work to explore the potential for greater linkages between child protection and anti-poverty work in low- and middle-income countries.

This report has two main objectives:

  1. To examine how far and in what ways poverty contributes to violations of children’s rights to protection in four areas – child marriage, sexual and physical violence against children and inadequate care of children – and thus to clarify the significance of poverty as an underlying or risk factor for these different violations of children’s protection rights; and
  2. To assess the strength of evidence concerning the relationship between poverty and child marriage, sexual and physical violence against children and inadequate care of children, and thus to identify knowledge gaps.

The report reviews evidence from low- and middle-income countries on the linkages between poverty and child marriage, sexual and physical violence against children and inadequate care of children. It also draws selectively on evidence from OECD countries in areas where the low- and middle-income country literature is sparse.