Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs DeniseMitchell TD has called on the Government to take immediate steps to tackle thescourge of child homelessness and child poverty.

Speaking following the launch of the Children’s RightsAlliance’s annual Report Card, Deputy Mitchell said:

“The number of homeless children has hit a record level thisyear, and it is totally unacceptable that we are seeing thousands of childrengrowing-up in emergency accommodation.

“Ultimately, the increasing number of children experiencinghomelessness is a direct consequence of an ongoing dismal failure by Governmentto meet social housing needs. The Housing Minister needs to get to grips withthe situation and work with local councils to provide truly affordable homesand social housing. That will require providing Local Authorities withmulti-annual funding commitments to facilitate forward planning.

“Another issue raised in the report is the knock-on effectswhich long-term stays in emergency accommodation is having on the nutritionalhealth of children. Food poverty is a constant problem for families living inemergency accommodation who are forced to rely on convenience and fast-foodsdue to lack of access to or inadequate cooking and food preparation facilities.That cannot be allowed to continue.”

Deputy Mitchell noted the improvements in some areas such aschild protection, saying:

“While we have seen improvements in certainareas, this report makes it clear that there is still serious work needed tobring about a society which we can be proud of, and one which puts the rightsand wellbeing of children at its very core.” 


Sinn Féin