State of the Nation’s Children Report Shows Poverty and Disadvantage Main Issues for Children in Ireland
Barnardos welcomes the publication of the State of the Nation's Children Report: Ireland 2016.
This is the sixth such report published since 2006, which compiles data on children’s lives in Ireland. Today’s report clearly shows the majority of children are faring well, however, a sizable portion are not flourishing and thriving - largely due to their ongoing exposure to poverty and disadvantage.
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said, “It is distressing that today’s report again shows how inequality is affecting children in Ireland. These inequities are systemic and are evident to be affecting many aspects of a child’s life: their education, health, housing etc. The earlier a child is exposed to these inequalities the greater cumulative impact it has on their lives.”
“For instance take the percentage of low birth weight babies, a common indicator of a child’s well-being; this increased to almost 6% in 2015 with those infants from low income families more affected. These children face higher chances of poor health, lower educational attainments and poorer overall outcomes. At the point of their birth, these children are less likely to succeed. It is deeply concerning for us that this figure is rising.”
“The prevalence of food poverty is also clear, with children in higher social class categories more likely to eat breakfast on five or more days per week than those in low income families, with Traveller children faring the worst. We also see that one in nine children in Ireland is living in consistent poverty. They are going without good shoes, or warm jackets to keep the cold out. They are often going without nutritious meals, and they’re living in substandard housing often without heat.”
“Barnardos believes that where you are born should not determine your life chances and that all children in Ireland deserve the chance to succeed. Inequalities like those shown in today’s report are not inevitable. They result from the decisions that adults are making, which effect children’s lives. Today’s report reminds us that we need to address these inequalities. We need to make better decisions, for the sake of all children in Ireland.”
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443
Visit Barnardos Media Centre www.barnardos.ie/media
Join us on Twitter @Barnardos_Ireland
Barnardos supports children whose well-being is under threat, by working with them, their families and communities and by campaigning for the rights of children. Barnardos was established in Ireland in 1962 and is Ireland’s leading independent children’s charity. www.barnardos.ie