Orphanhood and child vulnerability: Burundi

Type Working Paper - Understanding Children’s Work Project Working Paper Series
Title Orphanhood and child vulnerability: Burundi
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
URL http://ddp-ext.worldbank.org/EdStats/BDIwp04.pdf
A large proportion of Burundi children must grow up in the absence of one or both birth parents. In all, nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of children aged 0-14 years of age are orphans, one of the highest orphan rates in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. There is also a smaller group of children, accounting for about three percent of total 5-14 year-olds, who are fostered, i.e., children who are not orphans but nonetheless live in a separate household from their parents. This Country Brief explores the effect of orphanhood and fostering on child vulnerability. Evidence is presented indicating that orphanhood increases child vulnerability on two fronts: it makes it much more likely that a child is denied schooling and much more likely that a child is exposed to the dangers of work. Becoming a single orphan reduces of probability of attending school full-time by 11 percentage points, and of attending school in combination with work by almost four percentage points. At the same \ntime, the death of one parent makes it six percentage points more likely that a child works full-time in economic activity and almost nine percentage points more likely that a children falls into the “inactive” category. The loss of both parents has an even greater effect on school attendance and work. Becoming a foster child, on the other hand, does not have a significant effect on the likelihood that a child attends school or works.

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