Hun­gry kids in a rich coun­try like ours. I’ve been shocked

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News -

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

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