A condition that puts a lot of children at risk for many of the issues listed in this section is poverty. Lack of access to basic requirements such as food, shelter and clothing are the underlying cause of poor child health, poor child nutrition, child labour, child marriage and various other issues. It widens the economic, social, cultural, and gender disparities already present in society. Poverty essentially threatens every child right: survival, development and protection. Poverty follows a vicious cycle as poor children grow up to be poor adults who then pass on debt to their children.
Children experience poverty differently from adults as it creates an environment which is harmful to their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual development. It can not be simply understood in terms of household income or household consumption. UNICEF defines as "Children living in poverty experience deprivation of the material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to survive, develop and thrive, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential or participate as full and equal members of society."
In a study on poverty faced by children, UNICEF found that children face seven areas of severe deprivation: adequate nutrition, safe drinking water, decent sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.
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