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Disadvantaged children

Disadvantage comes in many different shapes and scales, but in most cases it relates to low income and poverty. With little power to change their own situation, children are more prone to experience poverty than adults. In addition, they also suffer the consequences more.

The world has made incredible progress toward development in recent years. Nonetheless, more than 700 million individuals continue to live in abject poverty, with children disproportionately impacted. Children is the largest, single group of people who is forced to live on only $1.90 a day. This is despite the fact that they only comprise a third of the world population. Children who grow up in poverty frequently lack the nutrition, hygiene, housing, medical care, and education necessary for survival and growth. Around 1 billion children worldwide are multidimensionally poor, which means they do not have basic necessities like clean water and food. COVID-19 also exacerbated the situation, bringing an additional 100 million children into multidimensional poverty.

The repercussions are severe. The likelihood of childhood death is twice as high for the world's poorest children as it is for their wealthier classmates. Risks of hardship and marginalization increase for those raised amid humanitarian situations. One in seven children still live in poverty, even in the wealthiest nations on earth. In the European Union today, as many as one in four minors are in danger of experiencing poverty. Children who grow up in poverty also experience inadequate living conditions, lack of workforce readiness skills development, and significantly lower salaries later in life, regardless of where they live.

In addition to poverty, children worldwide also experience disadvantages based on the communities, neighbourhoods or families they grow up in. Socially disadvantaged children are children who face systematic prejudice, stemming from racial, ethnic and cultural believes. The disadvantages which the children suffer from, come from circumstances completely out of their control, without any regard for their unique abilities and personal qualifications. As a consequence they are deprived of the opportunity to excel and develop beyond their immediate communities. There are no official numbers regarding children experiencing social disadvantages, as it is more difficult to detect, but it nonetheless remains a growing issue worldwide.

In order to combat child disadvantage, it is necessary to look at the root causes, such as poverty, and the lack of necessary resources in the household. Children living in poverty under their parents are at risk of inheriting the same situation, as breaking the poverty cycle is extremely difficult. This requires better help for families in need, more distribution of resources and implementation of government policies directed at ending poverty in its early stages. Once a child has broken free from the poverty cycle, they are less likely to pass it down to their own children in the future.

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