Social assistance programs and child poverty alleviation: A comparison between Hong Kong and Mainland China

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper compares the major child poverty alleviation policy in Hong Kong and the urban regions of Mainland China, i.e. Comprehensive Social Security Allowance (CSSA) Scheme and Minimum Living Security Standards (MLSS), respectively. It aims to examine whether CSSA and MLSS can tackle child poverty, to identify similarities and dissimilarities of CSSA and MLSS, and finally to suggest future policy implications or directions. A methodology of comprehensive systematic review is used to search for the relevant literature. The findings show that children living in poor families faced food consumption difficulties, lived in overcrowded environment and lacked education‐related financial support and learning resources. Children's rights emphasized in the UNCRC (United Nations, 1989) in different dimensions of living standards were often unmet due to the limited support from these two cash transfer policies. Poor children experiencing multiple disadvantages need more than just monetary or material assistance. Such findings can provide evidence for policy makers to craft holistic responses to meet the needs and remove the barriers that poor children face in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Social Work and Policy Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

An earlier version of this paper was presented using poster titled ‘A comparative study of child well being policy in Mainland China and Hong Kong: Implications for developing child indicators’ in 4th ISCI International Conference-Child Indicators in a Globalized World: Implications for Research, Practice and Policy, organized by the International Society for Child Indicators, hosted by Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea in May, 2013.


  • child poverty
  • comprehensive social security allowance
  • deprivation
  • Hong Kong
  • minimum living security standard
  • urban China


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