Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson hosted a major child poverty conference on Friday which was attended by organisations from across the North.
Ms Anderson said she was greatly encouraged by the turnout at the conference.
“This conference was attended by representatives from all the groups interested in tackling the problem of child poverty in society. We had speakers representing child welfare organisations across Ireland as well as prominent speakers from the EU. Successive speakers highlighted the devastating effects that the austerity agenda being driven by powerful governments and right wing interests in Europe is having on the most vulnerable in society and particularly on the welfare of our children.Ms Anderson said tackling child poverty is one of her main priorities. “Here in the North of Ireland there are some 100,000 children living in poverty; in the South of Ireland they too have a staggering figure of 31.3% child poverty
“I was asked during the arrangements for this conference why Child Poverty was so important for me – well the answer is simple: I understand what child poverty means - because I was brought up with it all around me.
“There is nothing more debilitating and soul destroying for young people than being raised in a society that doesn’t provide them with the basic needs of life,” she said.