UK NHRIs deliver statement to UN Human Rights Council in response to poverty report

The three UK National Human Rights Institutions today responded to the final report published by the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston, on extreme poverty and human rights in the UK.

In a joint video statement to the UN Human Rights Council, the Scottish Human Rights Commission joined the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, to voice our support for Professor Alston's report and state that we share his concerns.

Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Les Allamby, delivered the statement, which urges the UK Government to review its social security and spending policies to ensure the most significant impacts are not felt most by those they are designed to support.

Commenting in relation to Scotland, Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said:

"We know from our work with people across Scotland that poverty and barriers to accessing health, housing and social security cause significant hardship in their lives, and represent a failure by government to protect their economic and social rights. The Scottish Government must act with urgency to do everything within its power to prevent and tackle poverty, alongside strengthening laws in Scotland to better protect economic and social rights."

The Special Rapporteur conducted a UK-wide official visit in November last year to investigate government efforts to eradicate poverty in the country.