The UK Government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991. In 1998 it promised to eradicate child poverty in the UK by 2020, and in 2010 it enshrined this ambitious goal into UK law. However, despite this strong commitment to ending child poverty, the number of children living in poverty has increased, today standing at around 3.8 million children in the UK.
Barrier to child rights
Growing up in poverty is one of the biggest barriers to children enjoying their rights. It has a profound impact on children’s health, education, aspirations and well-being, yet children on their own can do little about it. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the effects of child poverty are estimated to cost the UK £25 billion each year. Without urgent action, the number of children living in poverty in the UK will increase as more families struggle to cope with the recession.
In 2008, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child stated that the UK Government must do more to address its unacceptably high rates of child poverty, and tackle inequalities between children.
UNICEF UK is calling on the Government to invest in children and make child poverty a priority across Government to make sure it meets its commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020.
End Child Poverty coalition
UNICEF UK is a member of End Child Poverty, a coalition made up of more than 120 organisations including children’s charities, child welfare organisations, social justice groups, faith groups, trade unions and other organisations concerned about the unacceptably high levels of child poverty in the UK.
Visit the End Child Poverty website.