It's Not A Choice: A report into young people's perceptions of poverty

Category: Child poverty

10th November 2015

Research with nearly 1,000 young people finds that they strongly believe governments have a responsibility to protect their rights.

The research, which took the form of a survey, was led by Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament as part of their campaign POVERTY: See It Change It.

The aim of the report is to better understand the perceptions and views of young people across a number of areas, including:

  1. Their understanding and perceptions of poverty, including who it affects, the causes and the impacts;
  2. Their views on the approaches adopted by governments to tackle poverty; and,
  3. Their perceptions of their rights, and the relationship between rights and poverty.

The findings of this report make it clear that young people recognise the negative effects poverty has on families, children, and young people, and that they strongly believe governments have a responsibility to protect the rights of children and young people, and involve them in efforts to tackle poverty.

The findings from It's Not A Choice include that young people:

  • Believe governments have a responsibility to protect the rights of children and young people.
  • Believe the views of children and young people must be listened to by decision-makers when deciding how to tackle poverty.
  • See poverty and the defence of their rights, or lack thereof, as being linked.
  • Believe governments do not spend enough money tackling poverty.

The report provides valuable new insights into the views of young people within a rights-based context, in which policy responses to child and youth poverty should be considered.

Find out more about the report here.

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