The fight to end child poverty must be at the heart of the
political agenda for Labour’s historic third term,
children’s charities insisted this week.
But special attention must also be paid to the plight of
asylum-seeking children and young offenders, they added.
Speaking to 0-19 after the election results were
announced, a Barnardo’s spokesperson said the charity wanted
the government to continue its efforts to reduce child poverty,
with a properly resourced plan focusing on the most disadvantaged
Children should only be kept in custody as a last resort, they
demanded, and the children of refugees and asylum seekers should
not be separated from the community simply because of their
parents’ immigration status.
Caroline Abrahams, director of public policy at NCH, said she
would continue to press government on its commitment to end child
poverty and ensure that vulnerable children and families remained a
high priority: “It’s not about new policies, but making
sure that what we already have is implemented and crucially that
the funding is in place,” Abrahams said.
The Children’s Society called for advice, assistance and
advocacy for refugee children, an end to their detention, and
financial support for their families.
It echoed demands for an end to prison custody for children, and
backed a rise in the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14
alongside a fundamental review of the youth justice system.
Daniela Reale, head of policy and campaigns at the Daycare
Trust, added that it was crucial that the needs and rights of
children should be “mainstreamed in all policies by all
4Children would focus on keeping alive the government’s
recognition that issues relating to the health and well-being of
children and families are all inter-connected, explained senior
policy officer Graeme Cooke.