The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says Scotland must take decisive steps to end child poverty. We agree.

02 October 2018

Image reading: Growing up in poverty needs to be recognised as the most significant human rights issue facing Scotland.

The Scottish Government needs to tackle child poverty in a sustained, systemic and human rights-based way.

That’s the message of Commissioner Bruce Adamson in endorsing the findings of Poverty in Scotland 2018 , a report released today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) during Challenge Poverty Week in Scotland.

While the Child Poverty Act (Scotland) sets legally binding targets around reducing child poverty in Scotland, the JRF report argues these are unlikely to be met unless the Scottish Government commits to decisive action.

The Commissioner said:

"Growing up in poverty needs to be recognised as the most significant human rights issue facing children in Scotland and we need a sustained, systematic and human rights based approach to tackle and eradicate it.

“And we should also look to children and young people to properly understand how poverty affects their lives.

"Our work on food insecurity shows not only how aware young people are of the limitation imposed by poverty but that they also have good ideas about possible solutions, if those in power listen to them.

"The Scottish Government has acquired new tax and social security powers which can address poverty. In particular, it should look at how new powers to top up benefits such as the universal credit child element could help to lift children out of poverty.

"Some children are more vulnerable to poverty and deprivation than others. These include younger children, immigrant children and children living in single-parent households and households affected by disability. Legislation designed to tackle child poverty in Scotland must therefore pay particular attention to the needs and voices of children and young people whose rights are most at risk."

Our work on child poverty

Child poverty as a human rights issue

Growing up in poverty is the most significant human rights issue facing children in Scotland today, and this page explains why.

Publications on child poverty

Read research our office commissioned on child poverty, including child views on food insecurity and how poverty affects their education.