Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill: children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment

Scottish Government's assessment of the impacts on children's rights and wellbeing of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill.

CRWIA Stage 4: Assessing the Impact and Presenting Options - key questions

1. What likely impact will the policy have on children's rights?

Positive - As outlined above action must be taken to tackle and reduce child poverty in Scotland. Research shows that on current projections child poverty rates are set to rise dramatically in coming years.

Reductions in child poverty levels in Scotland will help to ensure that we maximise the chance of ensuring all those living in Scotland can have productive, healthy lives, and stop the cycle of poverty, preventing the next generation of young people being born into poverty.

2 How will the policy/measure contribute to the wellbeing of children and young people?

Setting statutory targets will have the direct impact of encouraging Scottish Ministers to put in place policies that will help them to achieve the targets - i.e. policies that will lead to a reduction in child poverty rates.

The indirect impact on children is wide ranging and will vary dependent on socio-economic standing and the depth of poverty experienced.

3. Are some children and young people more likely to be affected than others?

As evidenced in Stage 2, the scope of the Bill will likely impact on the 220,000 (22%) children in Scotland who were living in relative poverty After Housing Costs ( AHC) in 2014/15. As per the IFS report they project a large increase in relative child poverty Before Housing Costs ( BHC), from 17.8% in 2015-16 to 25.7% in 2020-21, therefore the potential impact over time would be greater if these measures were not put in place.

Poverty rates vary by ethnicity, but poverty rates AHC for all people from minority ethnic (non-white) groups are higher than for the 'White - British' group. Over a third (34%) of people in minority ethnic groups were in poverty ( AHC) were taken into account, compared with 17% of people from the 'White - British' group. Within this, poverty AHC was 26% for 'White - other' groups; 30% for 'Asian/Asian British' people; and 37% for 'Mixed, Black / Black British, Chinese & Other' people.

Because of small sample sizes for ethnic minorities within the statistics collected, we are unable to provide separate analysis for minority ethnic children.

Poverty rates are higher than average for households with a disabled child: in 2014/15, 27% of households with a disabled child were in poverty AHC, compared with 18% of those without.

Data published by the Coalition to End Child Poverty in November 2016 highlighted the varying degrees which this national average affects Local Authority areas; for example, 34% were living in poverty ( AHC) in Glasgow, compared to 11% in Shetland.

New policies that seek to reduce child poverty and meet the new targets will need to ensure that equality considerations are at the forefront. Equality Impact Assessment will help with this. It is essential that in meeting these targets, the Scottish Government also closes the poverty gap that exists for gender, race, and disability.

4. Resource implications of policy modification or mitigation


5. How does the policy/measure promote or impede the implementation of the UNCRC and other relevant human rights standards?

The Child Poverty Bill will be implemented in a way which complements children's rights under the UNCRC, specifically the following articles:

  • Article 2: Non-discrimination
  • Article 3: Best interests of the child
  • Article 4: Protection of rights
  • Article 6: Life, survival and development
  • Article 12: Respect for the views of the child
  • Article 24: Health and health services
  • Article 26: Benefit from Social Security
  • Article 27: Adequate Standard of Living
  • Article 31: Engage in Play & Recreational Activities


Email: Gillian Cross

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