Inheriting extreme poverty: household aspirations, community attitudes and childhood in northern Bangladesh


This report, a collaborative initiave between BRAC's Research and Evaluation Division and Save the Children, UK presents findings of research into the influence of community institutions and actors on the inheritance of extreme poverty. The body of the report is in two parts. The first analyses patterns of work, school and marriage among the children of the ultra poor. Based on a survey of community officials and leaders in the same areas of Rangpur and Kurigram districts, the second part of the report explores the scope for community institutions and actors to support action on childhood poverty.

The key finding is that little progress has been made towards tackling the practice of and attitudes towards harmful child labour at the community level. Parents, children, and community leaders and officials all treat the early entrance of children into the world of work as the inevitable outcome of extreme household poverty. There is little awareness of the immediate risks and longer-term harmful consequences of children's work. Against this background, the report attempts to assess why there appears to h ave been more progress on schooling and early marriage than on harmful child labour. The contrast between these cases is instructive, as it highlights the underlying conditions and intervening factors that supported progress on some, and prevented movement on other, aspects of childhood poverty.

Related information

  • Writer Name: Naomi Hossain with Mahfuza Haque, Rafiqul Islam Sarkar, Matiur Rahman [Save the Children, UK] Raihana Karim, Laura Street [BRAC-RED]
  • Published Date: Thursday, 07 July 2005
  • Country: Bangladesh