Statement on UN Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Expert's visit to Scotland

16 November 2018

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Professor Philip Alston, has today completed his two-week factfinding mission to the United Kingdom to investigate government efforts to eradicate poverty and how this relates to its obligations under human rights law.

Commissioner, Bruce Adamson comments:

"Child poverty is the most significant human rights issue facing children in Scotland and we need a sustained, systematic and human rights-based approach to tackling it.
"I was pleased to meet with the Special Rapporteur in Glasgow, and to create space for children and young people to share their views on child poverty with him. Young people are living in the current climate of political uncertainty and austerity and have real worries about their futures. The children and young people talked to the Special Rapporteur about many aspects of poverty including hunger and food banks, and they also asked him about what will happen to their human rights when the UK leaves the EU. 

"In his statement Professor Alston said that the worst aspects of welfare policies could be changed overnight and for very little money. Scotland's efforts to mitigate against the worse of the austerity cuts is to be commended but in Scotland we can, and must do more to help children and families living in poverty. Poverty affects every aspect of a child's life, including their educational attainment and mental and physical health. Incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots Law would secure the rights protections for children in Scotland and must be progressed immediately."

Read our submission to the Special Rapporteur.