The Child in Latin America

Health, Development, and Rights

Edited by Ernest J. Bartell, C.S.C., and Alejandro O’Donnell

From the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Although most Latin American countries are considered middle-income nations, their child health and well-being statistics overall compare poorly with those of the United States. This volume brings together contributors from the U.S., Latin America, and organizations such as UNICEF to consider the physical, educational, social, legal, and economic status and progress of children throughout Latin America, focusing especially on health and rights issues.

In chapters concerning health, experts in biology and medicine address such topics as trends in malnutrition and undernutrition, iron deficiency, inadequate sanitation, and contaminated water. Other articles on children’s rights call on contributors from the social sciences and public policy to consider a wide range of issues, including youth violence and homicide, child labor and education, adolescents and the penal system, and future prospects for children’s rights. All of the articles contribute to a more complete understanding of the situation of children in contemporary Latin American development, creating a storehouse of information that will be useful to both scholars and policy makers.

These contributors show that as long as children in Latin America remain victimized by poverty, malnutrition, injustice, and violations of human rights, the many challenges of development must be addressed in ways that will protect children as well as support growing economies. They bring into focus the interdependence of all aspects of change, which must be acknowledged if children are to be both rightful beneficiaries and effective participants in the continuing development of Latin America.

ERNEST J. BARTELL, C.S.C., is Professor of Economics and former Executive Director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

ALEJANDRO O’DONNELL is Director of the Center for Studies on Infant Nutrition and Professor of Nutrition at the School of Medicine of the University of Salvador in Buenos Aires.


“This volume . . . argues convincingly for the need to focus on children as subjects in the Latin American development process and to do so through a multidisciplinary lens. Globalists and neo-liberal economists take note: this balanced and well-researched volume should be on your list of required reading.” — Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

The Child in Latin America is an excellent resource for anyone with an interest in the development of children. A noteworthy aspect of this volume is that the contributors not only identify problems but also offer suggestions for making changes and improving the plight of children in Latin America. . . .” — Journal of Children and Poverty

“For an understanding of the challenges Latin America faces in this endeavour, this book offers an excellent introduction.” — Iberoamericana