The children

Early years

Pre-School Years



Adolescence Poverty

Poverty of children depends on the number of household members in addition to the parent’s employment status, and the amount of their salary. A survey found that 9.3% of childless households in Ulaanbaatar are poor, whereas 19.7% of households with 1-2 children, and 44.3% of households with over 3 children are poor.  While 41.5% of childless households are wealthy,  the percentage is only 7.6%  for  households with over 3 children.

Poverty is not only a lack of or absence of income. Poverty limits an individual’s human development capabilities and opportunities and because of poverty many children cannot fully utilize their talents and opportunities, nor exercize their legal rights. One out of every 3 children in Mongolia live in poverty, one out of 5 children of 7-19 years old cannot attend  school, 2 out of 100 children of 10-17 years old have never studied at school, 1 out of 10 children of 5-17 years old are working. Due to poverty many children experience discrimination, live on the streets, and become involved in prostitution, and crime. None of the above should be allowed to happen to children.

It is indisputable that child labour is a not only a result of poverty, but also a reason for it.  Although it is unacceptable for children below the minimum limit of employment to combine work and school, it is not a secret that many parents with insufficient income desire their children to leave school and get a job in order to contribute into their living expenses. However, working children disengage themselves from learning which closes down their opportunities for getting highly paid professional jobs in the future. As can be seen from the results of the “National Poverty Inspection” conducted in 2001, 47% of very poor citizens are children, and one out of every 5 children of very poor households are school drop-outs. In particular, children born into very poor families, from an early age  begin to be involved in dangerous and hard labour in order to earn a living.  As a result, they are not educated and they are at risk of an early deterioration of health, leading to a high probability of poverty. A medical check up of children engaged in illegal gold and coal mining revealed that 43.3% of such children have respiratory diseases, 41.7% have kidney and urinary tract diseases, 25.0% have joints and back problems, 23.3% have eye and ear infections, and 10% have heart disease.

Poverty level is high among children with disabled parents or parents with no labor capability, and orphans or children of single parents. As can be seen from  the results of the 2001 National Poverty Inspection, 48.1% of all orphans and 65.6% of children with single parents are poor.

Although it is difficult to illustrate  the correlation between poverty and social services, the level of children’s school enrollment is lower in rural aimags with a high poverty level. According to the 2004 survey, enrollment level among 7-19 year-olds was 67.6% in the the countryside, whereas the same indicator was 88.6% in the city.




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