Glasgow pupils join Special Rapporteur for presentation of UK poverty report in Geneva

Date: 15th July 2019
Category: Right to life, survival and development, Respect for the views of the child, Child poverty


The group of 10-year-olds joined the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights before he formally presented his UK report to the UN Human Rights Council.

The pupils were visited by the Professor Alston, during his investigation of the UK in November 2018. During that visit, the pupils told him about the hunger and shame of poverty, of not being able to afford trainers, TV or food.

Alston’s damning report, highlights that the UK is facing a ‘national poverty crises’ and that whilst the Scottish Government is attempting to mitigate the worst impacts of austerity, there is ‘a real accountability gap which can and should be addressed’.  His report highlights Scottish Government’s commitment to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, noting that this will make a huge difference for children experiencing poverty in Scotland.

Before formally presenting the report, the pupils had some questions and ideas for the Special Rapporteur. Looking at the room of smartly dressed adults, Brooke asked “Why do you have the meetings when kids aren’t here” to which Alston replied “That’s a good question. We should have more kids coming here to tell us what they are thinking about. A lot of what governments do makes a lot of difference to your lives.”

Alston asked the pupils what people could do to help children experiencing poverty. “Just give them someone to talk to” said Ben.