Published date: 17 Oct 2022
Next generation will be trapped in a cycle of poverty without ambitious action from Government, say Children’s Rights Alliance
Today, on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Children’s Rights Alliance renews their call for a national child poverty unit and a dedicated strategy to drive change and action.
Speaking to this call to action, Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance said; “Today marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and today, we have even further evidence of the devastating impact poverty has on children and their future potential. Today should be a line in the sand for Government to make a commitment to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. To drive this, we need to see the establishment of a national unit dedicated to ending child poverty at the highest levels of government to turn the tide on the levels of deprivation we are seeing in Ireland. Without an ambitious and rigorous action to drive the levels of disadvantage down, we are concerned the next generation will be trapped in a cycle of poverty that will be harder to break.”
“The research report published today by the Economic and Social Research Institute reveals stark findings that speak to the levels of intergenerational poverty that are pulling more and more children into disadvantage. The weight of poverty can be utterly devastating, and today’s report shows the lasting impact deprivation and disadvantage in childhood can have into adulthood. The adults who experienced poverty in childhood had an increased risk of experiencing deprivation in adulthood. Not only that, the report shows the link between poverty during childhood and adult deprivation strengthened between 2011 and 2019,” commented Tanya Ward. “A child’s future potential and prospects should not be determined by where they were born or their family income and yet, we know that children living in consistent poverty or experiencing serious disadvantage do not start out on an equal playing field. When inequality and inequity persist, young people’s aspirations are barricaded.”
“We heard from several leading experts during our End Child Poverty Week that actions to address child poverty need to start as early as possible. Early childhood education and care is a crucial leveller for children and should be a key priority in terms of government investment. The report published today also emphasises the importance of educational attainment as a pathway out of poverty,” Tanya Ward continued. “Looking at early childhood, access to education and health in a child’s early years and the need for a safe, stable home are all key drivers of poverty and therefore, the first place to start when developing solutions. A national unit dedicated to ending child poverty, would enable the cross-governmental work and drive needed to address the multitude of ways poverty manifests in a child’s life.”
“We now have a substantial body of evidence on the causes and drivers of child poverty. It is political will that can turn the tide. We are concerned that the combined impact of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis will only deepen poverty for thousands of children and families. While Budget 2023 did make heavy investments in universal services, it did not go far enough to deliver adequate measures to help those most disadvantaged. By next year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we hope to see a more ambitious step to end child poverty in Ireland,” concluded Tanya Ward.
Contact: Emma Archbold, [email protected] / 0879971410
Notes to Editors:
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance is available for media interviews.
ESRI Intergenerational Poverty Report is available here.
End Child Poverty Week Event on Early Years is available to watch here.
The Children’s Rights Alliance Child Poverty Monitor 2022 is available here.
About the Children’s Rights Alliance
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 140 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: www.childrensrights.ie or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL #EndChildPoverty