Hungry kids in a rich country like ours. I’ve been shocked
other children have. They spoke about bullying and the stigma of poverty.
“Poverty is the biggest human rights issue facing children in Scotland and the UN have recently condemned our failure to address it.”
The 42-year-old lawyer, who was a member of the Children’s Panel for 13 years, is in no doubt that living in poverty and being denied a nutritious diet is a violation of their human rights.
He said: “Poverty is a state responsibility. Relying on community support is not acceptable. Children have a right to be free from hunger. We haven’t done enough to see poverty as a human rights issue.”
Adamson has cal led on the Government to act quickly to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC) into domestic law. The UNCRC enshrines the human rights of children and young people, including rights relating to poverty.
When their parents can’t provide enough to make that possible, it gives them the right to financial support from the state.
The Scottish Government have committed to incorporating the principles of the UNCRC into law but have set no date for this to happen.
New Zealand-born Adamson, who has lived in Scotland since 2002, added: “I used to wear a suit to work but, when I got this job, the first thing the staff in my office said was, ‘ You’ll need to change your wardrobe.’
He has called for a ban on parents being legally allowed to smack their children and he wants youngsters from the age of 12 to be given the right to change the gender on their birth certificate without parental backing.
He said: “The youngsters I’ve met have told me they want me to be their champion.
“As far as I see it, I’ve got the best job in the world – having the opportunity to sit on the f loor and engage with children and young people and then use the power of the office I hold to demand things on their behalf.”
DEDICATED Adamson wears jeans and a hoodie and often gets his nails painted when he is meeting children Pic Malcolm McCurrach MISSION Adamson poverty is says his No1 priority child