Children’s Economic and Social Rights and Child Poverty: The State of Play

Forthcoming, International Journal of Children’s Rights.

17 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2019

See all articles by Aoife Nolan

Aoife Nolan

University of Nottingham - School of Law

Kirrily Pells

University College London - UCL Institute of Education

Date Written: October 29, 2019

Abstract

This article will focus on both economic and social rights (ESR) and child poverty. In doing so, it will focus on key developments or gaps in child rights scholarship (CRS) in these areas. The authors’ treatment of these issues together is logical (albeit certainly not inevitable) given the strong connection between ESR and poverty. Both are areas which have been under-explored in CRS: ESR have been historically under-theorised and marginalised in child rights research, whereas child poverty is an area that has received extensive academic attention but only a limited amount of this has been from a child rights perspective.

The article begins by outlining the state of the existing theoretical child rights literature on ESR, before going on to consider the growing body of CRS focused on specific ESR-thematic areas. In doing so, the authors make clear the historic dominance of law in terms of child ESR scholarship while flagging the increasing ESR-focused/framed work emerging from other disciplines, arguing that this is evidence of an ever-wider and more multidisciplinary engagement with ESR. Moving on to the topic of child poverty, the authors note that, with some notable exceptions, there been a failure on the part of child rights scholars to engage with child poverty, a fact that is at least partially attributable to disciplinary disconnects: while CRS (and ESR scholarship in particular) has come to be dominated by lawyers to a large degree, much academic work on child poverty originates in economics, development studies and social policy. There is, however, some recognition by child poverty scholars (and more so by practitioners) that child poverty is a ‘child rights’ issue, albeit that there is an ongoing failure on the part of child poverty scholarship to really come to terms with the complexities of child rights in terms of the implications of such for the definition and measurement of child poverty. The authors conclude by flagging future avenues for academic engagements with child ESR and child poverty, considering both the ways in which existing scholarship may be enriched as well as the potential dangers that new directions may pose in terms of child ESR specifically.

Keywords: child rights, poverty, child poverty, human rights, sustainable development, economic and social rights, socio-economic rights, citizenship, multidimensional poverty, income poverty, social justice, courts, budgets, economic policy, children's rights, social rights, civil and political rights, SDGs

Suggested Citation

Nolan, Aoife and Pells, Kirrily, Children’s Economic and Social Rights and Child Poverty: The State of Play (October 29, 2019). Forthcoming, International Journal of Children’s Rights., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3477152

Aoife Nolan (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham - School of Law ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Kirrily Pells

University College London - UCL Institute of Education ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

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