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October 25, 2023

More than a million children in the UK experiencing ‘horrifying levels of destitution’

  • According to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) the number of people experiencing these poverty levels in the UK has increased by 61% between 2019 and 2022, with 3.8 million people experiencing destitution.
  • Children in particular have been affected most, with an increase of 186% since 2017.
  • People are considered destitute if they have not been able to meet their basic needs to stay warm, dry, clean and fed.
  • Paul Kissack, Chief Executive of the JRF accused the government of failing to act: “The government is not helpless to act: it is choosing not to…That is why we are calling for clear proposals from all political parties to address this challenge with the urgency it demands.”
  • A UK Government spokesperson stated its priority was driving down inflation, and the investment of £3.5 billion in jobs and the expansion of free childcare.
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website.

AI firms must be held responsible for harm they cause ‘godfathers’ of technology say

  • The intervention was made as international politicians, tech companies, academics and civil society figures prepare to gather at Bletchley Park next week for a summit on AI safety.
  • Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley reported that AI are not toys, and “increasing their capabilities before we understand how to make them safe is utterly reckless”.
  • The document urged governments to adopt a range of policies, including making tech companies liable for foreseeable and preventable harms from their AI systems.
  • The safety summit will focus on existential threats posed by AI, such as aiding the development of novel bioweapons and evading human control.
  • For more, please visit The Guardian website.

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The Peckham primary school where most children are homeless

  • Harris Primary Academy Peckham Park has nearly 300 students, all of who receive free uniform, trips and meals.
  • The school conducted a survey in which most families described themselves as living in “non-secure tenancies”, which can range from sofa surfing with friends to living in B&Bs and hostels.
  • Ms Corbett reported that many of the pupils, return home to a “crisis situation with grown-ups who are pushed to their limits and might be suffering from depression as a result of the situation that they’re in”.
  • Felicity Buchan, minister for housing and homelessness said they are spending £2bn over three years to tackle homelessness and get families into permanent accommodation.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

NSPCC campaign to highlight risks of online porn 

  • The NSPCC have initiated a campaign in Plymouth to raise awareness of the consequences of online pornography exposure amongst youths.
  • Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza reported in May that most young people have seen pornography by the age of 13.
  • Emma Motherwell, local campaigns manager at the NSPCC reported that although pornography is not an easy subject for parents and teachers, adults “need to be better at being able to manage those conversations”.
  • The campaign is part of the charity’s Together for Childhood programme in Plymouth and is supported by Plymouth Council, public health, police and local schools.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.