Persistent Childhood Poverty in Canada: A Political Economy Analysis of its Causes
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Child poverty is a global phenomenon, although with different rates among nations. It is high in the developing nations, but even in some developed countries, high child poverty rates have been recorded. The primary characteristic of child poverty is depriving children of the basic necessities of living. Child poverty is deepening in Canada, as in many other nations, and this calls for concern since this vulnerable group has limited opportunities for normal physical and mental development. About half of the world’s population that lives in extreme poverty are children, and in many countries, children live in more poverty than adults. Poverty in a developed country such as Canada, with well-articulated governmental structures and policies backed up by a growing economy, appears to be a misnomer but is a reality. More disturbing is the fact that child poverty determines the lifelong health outcomes of this vulnerable group. Later improvements in life circumstances have limited effect on already ingrained poor health. If Canadian children are to achieve their full potential, there is an urgent need for policymakers to revisit the issue of child poverty and prioritize children in their policy-making decision processes.