‘Shameful child poverty figures are unacceptable’

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COMMENT ARTICLE BY ELLEN FINLAY

The Child Poverty Alliance (CPA) is co-chaired by Children in Northern Ireland and Save the Children NI. It came into being in 2008 as a loose alliance of organisations to raise awareness of child poverty within Northern Ireland.

We are an inclusive coalition committed to campaigning for an end to child poverty by working collaboratively with an evidence-based approach.

The CPA has been constructive, pragmatic and solution focused based on the evidence of what will work. We engaged with Government and elected representatives seeking to inform public policy and hold Government accountable for tackling child poverty.

Our strategic objectives are twofold: to hold government to account for the application of its strategy and programmes to end child poverty in NI and reframe and inform public understanding of child poverty and gain support for measures to support families.

Every child needs and deserves a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood. We all have a moral duty to challenge the structures that have contributed to children and young people in Northern Ireland growing up in poverty.

Worryingly, the evidence clearly shows that the rights of children and young people in Northern Ireland are not high on the political agenda with many continuing to face inequalities. T

he Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) predicts that relative child poverty will increase to 30.9 percent Before Housing Costs (BHC) and absolute child poverty to 38.5 percent (BHC) in Northern Ireland by 2020-211.

These unacceptable and shamefully high figures demonstrate a complete lack of commitment to the UNCRC and lack of urgent action to end child poverty and address inequality that our children face in their daily lives.

To highlight these issues, the Child Poverty Alliance on November 3, in the Long Gallery, Stormont, will be launching a report ‘Beneath the Surface, Child Poverty in Northern Ireland’.

The report contains a compilation of articles on the issue of child poverty, drawing upon the thoughts and research of leading thinkers in the field of child poverty and inequality with recommendations and actions on how to address child poverty.

We are also expecting a number of Executive Ministers to attend the event to take part in a panel discussion, outlining what their department is doing to address child poverty.

• Ellen Finlay, Policy Officer for Children in Northern Ireland

 

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