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Child poverty figures extremely worrying

1 November, 2004


Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast and party spokesperson on poverty, Kathy Stanton, has said that the figures released today from the Save the Children indicating that over 32,000 children in the north of Ireand are living in severe poverty are extremely worrying and urgent attention is needed.

Speaking today Ms Stanton said:

"These figures indicate that the current systems for protecting children and eliminating poverty such as the NAPS, signed up to by the British Government, have failed to date. There is not enough emphasis or attention given to this vital issue and today's figures dramatically highlight this.

"To have over 32,000 children living with the effects of poverty is unacceptable and will have a severe effect both on their development and on their potential futures.

"Urgent attention is needed for those most vulnerable in our society such as families who are unemployed or single parents.

"Strategies need to address the social exclusion that can evidently occur to both parents and children who are experiencing high levels of poverty and should include, at the very least, meaningful employment and training opportunities for parents matched with substantial care provision for children in the home, in schools and in social environments.

"There is no justice in sitting by and letting our children continue to live in these severely negative conditions." ENDS

Note to Editor: Sinn Féin MEP Barbre de Brun along with the MLA for North Belfast and party spokeperson on Poverty and Development Kathy Stanton will be meeting with the Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network at 12:00pm on the Tuesday the 2nd of November at the North Belfast Constituency Office at 291 Antrim Road and will be available to speak to the media at 12:30pm.

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