There are few attempts to link human rights discourses and child poverty debates, though the field is expanding. Within sociology, both the study of rights and of childhood are marginal. This paper utilises a sociological approach to bridge rights and poverty debates in relation to children and explore why there are barriers to implementing children's rights in specific instances. Drawing on Young Lives research, a longitudinal study of children growing up in poverty, the paper explores how discourses of children's rights play out in local contexts and how a narrowly legal perspective fails to engage with children's experiences of poverty. The paper concludes by proposing that a broader, sociological approach to rights as not only rules, but also as structures, relationships and processes (Galant and Parlevliet, 2005) can better engage with the causes and consequences of poverty, while also developing locally relevant responses.
Keywords: child poverty - children's human rights - children's work - Ethiopia - India - orphanhood.
The final published version of the article is available on the journal website.