The Urgency of Addressing Multidimensional Child Poverty in Indonesia

Widjajanti Isdijoso
Policy brief SMERU Research Institute • September 2013 Indonesia


The first child poverty and disparity study conducted in Indonesia in 2010–2011 revealed that in 2009, despite progress made towards reducing income deprivation and other dimensions of deprivation, around 55.8% of Indonesian children lived in households with a per capita consumption of less than PPP $2 a day, 17.4% lived below the official (national) poverty line, and 10.6% lived on less than PPP $1 per day. Moreover, only around 18% of children were free from any of the six deprivation dimensions—lack of access to education, engagement in child labour, poor access to health, shelter, sanitation, and clean water; whilst around 78% of them suffered from between one to three deprivation dimensions. The fact that the number of children in income poor households is disproportionately larger than those in richer households, and that children in poorer households lag far behind those in richer households in many deprivation dimensions, poses a real challenge to poverty reduction in the long term. This calls for the government to not only continue mainstreaming children's rights into the development agenda, but also to build stronger alliances with nongovernmental actors towards focusing more attention on vulnerable children in order to reduce disparities and safeguard children's wellbeing across household income levels and regions.




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