Poverty and the Political Powerlessness of Children

  1. Gottfried Schweiger
  2. Mar Cabezas
Astrolabio: revista internacional de filosofía

ISSN: 1699-7549

Year of publication: 2017

Issue: 19

Pages: 111-122

Type: Article

More publications in: Astrolabio: revista internacional de filosofía


Índice Dialnet de Revistas

  • Year 2017
  • Journal Impact: 0.070
  • Field: FILOSOFÍA Quartile: C2 Rank in field: 31/100


  • Human Sciences: D


Children are affected by poverty more often than adults, and growing up in poverty has severe and long-lasting negative consequences for a child’s well-being. However, children are also in a very weak position, both to escape poverty on their own and to publicly and politically enforce their claims to a better life. Accordingly, children living in poverty are victims of two intersecting forms of powerlessness: they are children and they are poor. In this article, we analyze this particular type of powerlessness from a children’s rights perspective and argue that, in order to effectively restore justice to children in poverty, the State has to implement a comprehensive children’s rights regime. We argue that the State is obliged to consider children’s best interests in all its policies – even those that are not directly related to children – in order to compensate for the lack of political agency during childhood. This demand reflects the particular social and political status of children, namely: that they are dependent on others for their well-being, that childhood is a phase of particular vulnerability and that (young) children lack certain competencies that are needed to enforce their claims.