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Human rights in NI have stalled – while their foundation is under question
The latest Annual Statement from the NI Human Rights Commission identifies more concerns than successes. Meanwhile, on top of a series of blockages, Northern Ireland’s effective framework for human rights is itself feeling pressure.
Child poverty and Northern Ireland's house of cards
Progress on child poverty has been slow. Between the pandemic and rising house prices, things could be about to get much worse.
Tackling loneliness will be a bellwether for Covid-19 recovery
New research from the Red Cross lays bare how, for many people, coronavirus has led to loneliness. The root causes cut across every aspect of the pandemic.
Transfer tests headed for crunch time
Calls to cancel this year’s post-primary transfer tests continue to mount – and the list of barriers to a fair testing process is growing. The Education Minister is gambling on everything going smoothly.
Pandemic transfer test debate lacks a resolution
Even if the transfer test goes ahead, it might cause more problems than it prevents for an Education Minister who is wholly committed to academic selection.
Younger voices feel sidelined during the pandemic
An NI Youth Forum survey asked young people about their experiences of, and thoughts about, lockdown. It highlights concerns about mental health and education – and about not being listened to.
The fallout from Covid-19 will squeeze communities in a time of need
It is unsurprising – but still disappointing – that the pandemic could force the work done by charities shrink while demand for that work rises.
Is Northern Ireland ready to go back to school?
The local R number is above one, which is a potential disaster given schools are supposed to open their doors in a week or two. Renewed restrictions elsewhere could be needed.
Education relies on pupils’ mental health
Local children will soon be back at school. Catching up on education is vital – but so is pupils’ mental health. Scope looks at a new report from Barnardo’s NI that gathered evidence from teachers and other education staff.
Covid-19 and our young people: Don’t. Look. Down.
The pandemic has highlighted many economic weaknesses. A terrible downturn is inevitable, and young people will be worst affected. Throw in other factors, like climate change, and new thinking seems necessary.
Now is the time to take on loneliness
Covid-19 risks an increase in loneliness. It also makes loneliness much more difficult to tackle. We have to think of ways to work against these problems – especially with Northern Ireland at risk of a coronavirus second wave.
Childcare had problems before the pandemic. Now it has many more.
Before Covid-19, Northern Ireland’s childcare sector worked hard but was under-resourced. Now it faces huge challenges, and shortages could hamstring our economic and social recovery from coronavirus.
In the pandemic, UBI keeps gathering momentum
The first test of a universal basic income has proved a success. A large majority of the public want it introduced. Politicians at Westminster are drawing up plans. Is UBI now more likely than not?
Covid-19 is a global emergency and a local one
It’s Red Cross Week, and Scope speaks to the organisation here in Northern Ireland about how it has had to transform its work to tackle the pandemic.