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Commenting on the release of the report on the UK by Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of The Equality Trust said:
"This report paints a damning picture of life for millions of people in the fifth largest economy in the world. The scandalous destruction of a society rent by inequality and poverty has been highlighted at the highest level. As the UN Special Rapporteur points out, in-work poverty is rising faster than employment and one in six of those referred to a Trussell Trust foodbank is in work. Young equality campaigners, supported by The Equality Trust, gave the UN Special Rapporteur an insight into the way that homelessness, poverty, discrimination, lack of opportunities and jobs and poor housing has affected their lives, when he visited last November. I shall also be speaking on a panel discussion about poverty and inequality in the UK, hosted by the UN Special Rapporteur in partnership with civil society organisations."
Quotes from the young people who met the UN Special Rapporteur:
"As a group of young people, the opportunity to speak about issues that are affecting our community to someone with such a high influence is rare. My next hope is that our own politicians will now listen to us." Dess
"The meeting really exposed the issues that young people were facing and the lack of attention from those with power. It was a breath of fresh air for us to speak to someone empathetic to our situation that also could help put forward our pleas for help. Social mobility doesn't exist for young people anymore. The high expectations of society breeds vulnerable young people." Lawand
"Being able to have the opportunity to have our voices heard collectively as a group of young people gives me a sense of hope and is a great reminder that all voices are valid. Regardless of what may or may not be done moving forward, we were able to take the first step by voicing our thoughts and experiences. The current system forces a lot of families and young people into a role of dependency rather than creating the circumstances for them to flourish." Tayah
The Special Rapporteur is scheduled to present his report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 27 (precise date subject to change), at which point the UK Government will formally respond. The session will be live-streamed. Dr Wanda Wyporska will be speaking on a panel discussion about poverty and inequality in the UK in Geneva on June 27, at an event hosted by the Special Rapporteur, in partnership with civil society organizations.
For comment or interview please contact Dr Wanda Wyporska on 07837 909 418.