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

Nolan, Aoife; Pells, Kirrily


Professor of International Human Rights Law

Kirrily Pells


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. 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 has 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.


Nolan, A., & Pells, K. (2020). Children's Economic and Social Rights and Child Poverty: The State of Play. International Journal of Children's Rights, 28(1), 111-132.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 10, 2020
Publication Date 2020-03
Deposit Date Jan 24, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 1, 2023
Journal International Journal of Children's Rights
Print ISSN 0927-5568
Electronic ISSN 1571-8182
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 1
Pages 111-132
Keywords Political Science and International Relations; Social Sciences (miscellaneous); Sociology and Political Science
Public URL
Publisher URL


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