Skip to main content

Child Poverty

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether statistics on child poverty include the children of asylum seekers. [117375]

Poverty and social exclusion are complex and multi-dimensional issues, affecting many aspects of people's lives. The fourth annual "Opportunity for all" report (Cm 5598), published in September 2002, sets out the Government's strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion and presents information on the range of indicators used to measure progress against this strategy.The indicators used to monitor progress for children and young people cover a variety of domains. Whether statistics of child poverty include the children of asylum seekers depends on the source of the statistics. Statistics relating to income, housing, post-16 education and (parents') employment will include the children of asylum seekers if they are living in private households and have responded to the relevant survey. Similarly, statistics on smoking during pregnancy and among children aged 11 to 15 include all those who responded to the relevant surveys. Those relating to compulsory education include all children who attend a mainstream school with over ten pupils. Those relating to Sure Start areas, births, deaths and injuries relate to all children. Figures relating to local authority care and the Child Protection Register will cover all children affected.In summary, the indicators for children and young people monitored in "Opportunity for all" do include the children of asylum seekers where possible. However the ability to specify results for these children is limited by a number of factors: asylum seekers are not normally identified separately in such surveys; their characteristics may mean that they are less likely to be sampled or to respond to surveys; and they will in most statistical instruments represent too small a population to provide robust estimates."Opportunity for all" is available in the Library.