Connect with us

As part of our project supporting civil society to be part of the upcoming United Nations (UN) human rights review of the UK, and in response to our call for evidence, we received an impressive 74 submissions on a range of issues from civil society organisations and individuals.

There is now only one month to go until the publication of our report and its submission to the UN. In the lead up, we are sharing some key highlights of the evidence we received. Last month we looked at the rights of disabled people and before that how Black people and people of colour experience violations of their rights. Now we are turning attention to the ways in which children face violations of their economic, social and cultural rights. For example:

Poverty: Levels of child poverty in the UK are at unacceptably high levels. It is estimated that 25% of children are growing up in poverty in the UK. This figure varies by location, when you zoom in to Wales for example, it jumps to 34% of children. Support for families is not affected by household size meaning larger families have less support. This is linked to regressive policies such as the two-child-limit and the benefit cap which worsen the situation. 

Housing: Families experiencing homelessness, living in temporary accommodation, are left for long periods of time due to a shortage of genuinely affordable or social housing. This accommodation is often in poor condition, with habitability concerns impacting the health and education of children in particular. 

Education: Children experience issues in accessing education and with structural race discrimination. Black pupils and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils in particular experience inequalities. Black pupils face discriminatory treatment with disproportionate strip searches (75% of children subject to strip searches in 2019-2021 were from ethnically diverse backgrounds). Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils experience among the highest permanent exclusion rates and have the lowest education attainment at all stages of education. 

Following austerity, Covid-19, and now the cost-of-living crisis, the evidence we received highlighted that children are one of the groups experiencing disproportionately high violations of their rights and a diminishing quality of life. We will be using this evidence to hold the UK and Welsh Governments to account  on their international human rights obligations.

Learn more about the project here.

Image by Alexander Mostov