Black Lives Matter, black childhoods matter

Monday 01 June 2020

Action for Children CEO Melanie Armstrong responds to the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement

Action for Children CEO Melanie Armstrong said:

"As people speak up in protest in both the USA and the UK, we stand with them in the fight against racism. We are thinking of families, children and our own staff who are affected by these issues.

Black Lives Matter. Black Childhoods Matter too. Action for Children wants every child to have a safe and happy childhood, but we know from our services that children from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds often face greater challenges to their childhoods and life chances.

We know child poverty in this country is too high and rising even before the Coronavirus crisis – and we know that black and Asian children face the biggest poverty risks.

We know that there are disturbing inequalities in the proportions of children from different ethnic groups in the care system.

We know that young black, Asian and minority ethnic people are less likely to access mental health services early.

Our frontline staff tell us of the need for policymakers to do more to consult directly with BAME children, young people and families as well as encourage positive BAME role models, positive portrayals of BAME people in the media, and the need to challenge negative behaviour and stereotypes.

As well as calling on the Government to act, we too in the charity sector need to redouble our efforts so that the response to prejudice and hardship is action. Action to ensure our staff fulfil their potential and action that enables more children the opportunity to thrive."