In Parliament, I recently attended the launch of the first ever Children’s Commission on Poverty, which is a unique opportunity for children to join forces and examine, for themselves, the stark realities facing thousands of families living below the poverty line.
Supported by The Children’s Society, a panel of 15 children and teenagers from across England, ranging in age from 12 to 19, will lead the Commission’s 18-month investigation into child poverty in the UK.
The Commission will provide a platform for children to speak out about what poverty is really like and reveal, through their own eyes, the day-to-day challenges they face and what needs to be done.
I was delighted to meet with Gulwali and Hossin, two of the Commissioners from the North West, at the launch (photo above).
The Commission means that for the first time we will find out what children across the country think about poverty. More importantly, we will hear directly from young people what it is like to grow up in poverty today.
I know from the Oldham Fairness Commission’s Education Hearing last month, how important it is to hear from young people, both about their experiences and possible solutions to inequalities and I look forward to engaging with the Poverty Commissioners on other areas of work for Oldham’s Fairness Commission.
You can sign up to the Children’s Commission on Poverty and find out how to support their work over the next 18 months, to make sure young people have their say at www.childrenscommission.org.uk
- According to the latest official statistics, there are 3.5 million children in poverty. Figures are according to the relative low income measure, and are based on income after housing costs.
- By 2020, an estimated three quarters of a million more children will be living in poverty than today.