We write in advance of the 93rd session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (“the Committee”) and its review of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This submission is an update to our submission for the 88th pre-session, submitted in November 2020, and includes information on the repatriation and reintegration of children from northeast Syria, the situation of children living in “temporary accommodation” in the UK, and child poverty.
Repatriation and reintegration of children (articles 3, 6, 8, 9, 19, 24, 28, 37, and 39)
An estimated 30 to 60 British children are believed to be detained in al-Hol and Roj, two sprawling detention camps in northeast Syria primarily holding family members of Islamic State (ISIS) suspects. The British children are among nearly 37,000 foreign nationals detained in the camps, including 27,000 from neighboring Iraq, and nearly 10,000 others from about 60 other countries. Most of the detainees in the camps were rounded up in late 2018 or early 2019 by the United States- and United Kingdom-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as they toppled the last remnant of ISIS’s self-declared caliphate in northeast Syria.
Although approximately 38 countries have repatriated some or many of their nationals since 2019, the United Kingdom has repatriated only one woman and 10 children during that period. Prior to October 2022 when it repatriated one woman and her child, the UK had refused to repatriate any women and stated that it would consider the repatriation of orphaned or unaccompanied children on a case-by-case basis. The nongovernmental organization Reprieve reviewed letters sent by the UK government to seven women, refusing their requests for repatriation. In each case, the letter stated: “The Government assesses that [X] is a threat to national security having travelled of her own volition to join a proscribed terrorist organization.” The organization said it was aware of at least four women who had been informed by the UK that it would consider repatriating their children without them. Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, said that the letters “suggest a blanket policy of offering to separate mothers from their children—something the government has previously said is wrong.”
The UK has also stripped citizenship of many nationals including Shamima Begum, who left the UK at age 15 to join ISIS in Syria. In February 2023, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) rejected her appeal against the government’s decision, despite finding there was “credible suspicion” that she was groomed and trafficked to Syria for sexual exploitation as a minor. The SIAC also concluded that there were arguably failures by the UK authorities in breach of the protective duty in permitting Begum to leave the country to travel to Syria. SIAC ruled almost exactly a year after the UK Supreme Court denied Begum the right to return to England to contest her citizenship revocation in person, despite being unable to have a fair hearing while detained in northeast Syria.
Conditions in the camps and prisons holding UK nationals and other ISIS-linked suspects and family members are increasingly dire. Turkish airstrikes in November 2022 hit a security post at one camp, killing eight guards, and came perilously close to striking one of the prisons. Health care, clean water, shelter, and education, as well as recreation for children, are grossly inadequate. Women interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they hide their children in their tents to protect them from risk of sexual or other gender-based violence, abusive camp guards, and ISIS recruiters and fighters.
The camps have become increasingly dangerous and violent, as detainees, including many loyal to ISIS, have carried out attacks against other detainees, camp authorities, and aid workers. The United Nations reported that 90 people were murdered in al-Hol in 2021, and 42 from January to mid-November 2022.
Transfers of Women and Children to other Detention Centers
Women whom regional authorities allege are ISIS morality police are periodically transferred from the camps to a prison in al-Hasakah city. Since October 2021, scores of these women’s children, ages 18 months to 13 years, have spent nights with them in prison and eight hours a day in a heavily guarded day care center inside the prison compound called Helat. The facility director said the center lacked funds for fresh food and toys. When Human Rights Watch visited the center in May 2022, children from several countries, including the United Kingdom, played in a courtyard, but the Helat manager said they feared for their future and were struggling to adapt to nights in prison and days in day care. Several of the 10 children Human Rights Watch spoke with there said they would rather live in the detention camps than spend nights in prison.
Detention in prisons and other detention centers
The SDF is also holding up to 1,000 detainees from about 20 countries who are boys or who were apprehended before they turned 18 in prisons and makeshift detention centers. Most of the boys are ages 14 to 17, though some may be as young as 12. A few hundred foreign boys are held in so-called rehabilitation centers such as Houry, a locked, heavily guarded building with dormitories and a courtyard, and Orkesh, a center that opened in late 2022. Human Rights Watch has no information regarding British boys in these facilities.
Separating Boys from Mothers and Siblings
When foreign boys living with their mothers and siblings in the camps approach or reach adolescence, many are forcibly taken by armed guards and transferred to “rehabilitation centers” such as Houry, or to military prisons for men. Those taken, often without warning, include scores of boys reportedly as young as 10 and 12. Mothers are often not told for weeks or months, if at all, where their sons are taken or held. These boys are rarely allowed in-person or phone contact with their mothers and siblings in the camps, mothers and detained boys told Human Rights Watch.
Unlawful Detention and other Violations
None of the detained foreigners has been able to challenge the necessity and legality of their detention, making their detention arbitrary and unlawful. There appears to be no legal basis to justify the detention of the children. As the Committee has pointed out in its decisions in response to individual complaints from Finland and France, countries with nationals in the camps have the responsibility and power to protect their child nationals from an imminent and foreseeable threat to their lives, and prolonged detention in the camps constitutes cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
In January 2023, the Committee Against Torture found that France had violated the Convention Against Torture by refusing to repatriate women and children from northeast Syria. Even if the French State “is not at the origin of the violations suffered” by the women and children in the camps, “it remains under an obligation” to protect them against serious human rights violations “by taking all necessary and possible measures,” the committee said.
Human Rights Watch recommends that the Committee ask the UK government:
- What steps is the UK government taking to repatriate the remaining UK children and victims of child trafficking detained in northeast Syria as ISIS suspects or family members, and facilitate their reintegration in the UK?
- What is the timetable for their repatriation?
Human Rights Watch encourages the Committee to call on the UK government to:
- Ensure the repatriation, as a matter of urgent priority, of all UK children and victims of child trafficking arbitrarily detained in northeast Syria.
- Ensure all mothers or other adult guardians together with their children can return home immediately, absent compelling evidence that separation is in the best interest of the child. Provide returnees with rehabilitation and reintegration services, including medical and psychosocial support. Conduct regular and individualized assessments to tailor assistance to each returnee’s particular circumstances. Ensure that returnees obtain appropriate documentation, including birth certificates and identity cards, and receive necessary support to enroll in health programs and access other social services.
- Enroll school-age children in school or preschool as soon as possible, and provide accelerated learning opportunities, including additional classes or tutoring, to enable children to address learning deficits and catch up to their peers.
- Ensure that mothers and children are not separated once returned to the UK unless absolutely necessary, by, for example, providing supervised living arrangements when assessments or investigations are required.
- Identify long-term placements for children ahead of time or as soon as possible following repatriation to avoid unnecessary transitions and upheaval, prioritizing family-based placements whenever possible. Facilitate contact between the child and extended family members as soon as possible after the child’s return, including through supervised visits, if appropriate. Involve extended family members in decisions regarding the care and placement of the child.
- Provide foster families with necessary support, including from social workers and other professionals with appropriate training and experience regarding war-affected children.
- If separation of a child from their mother is unavoidable, ensure that the mother is informed of what will happen to her and the child and that she has an opportunity to prepare the child in advance.
- In cases where mothers are subject to criminal proceedings for alleged ISIS-related crimes, consider, when possible, noncustodial measures in lieu of detention or imprisonment, such as probation, suspended sentences, restrictions on movement, or law enforcement monitoring.
- If the detention or imprisonment of a parent is deemed necessary during criminal proceedings or following conviction, ensure regular and frequent telephone and video calls with the child/children, and frequent in-person visits of an adequate duration in a child-friendly environment. Ensure that the parent is detained in a facility as close to the child as feasible.
- Pending returns, immediately ensure detained nationals have access to consular services without discrimination and take all reasonable steps to protect their rights to life, to freedom from torture and other abuse, and to due process.
- Reverse the decision to strip Begum of her citizenship and ensure the repatriation of Begum and other likely victims of grooming and child trafficking, along with rehabilitation and reintegration services, including medical and psychosocial support. Conduct an independent investigation into how the UK authorities reached and upheld the decision to revoke her citizenship, and how they permitted her departure from the UK in the first place.
Children living in “temporary accommodation” (articles 3, 24, 26, 27, 28, and 31)
In January 2022, Human Rights Watch together with Childhood Trust found that children in London have been growing up in substandard and uninhabitable “temporary accommodation” as a result of persistent policy failures by the central and local government to address the needs of people and children threatened with homelessness.
In 2021, Human Rights Watch interviewed 75 people, including 33 who were either living in, or had recently left, temporary accommodation in various boroughs across London. These included children, parents, and caregivers. We also spoke with 42 nongovernmental organization (NGO) staff members, experts, and local authority workers.
As of December 2021, 38,780 households with children were living in temporary accommodation in London, which was 66 percent of all families in temporary accommodation in the UK at the time. Part of the problem is that the central government reduced its funding to local authorities by 37 percent in real terms between 2009-10 and 2019-2020, with London facing the largest cuts. Local authorities partly fund their housing services through central government grants.
Housing budgets have therefore suffered significantly, with London local authorities cutting their spending on housing by 24 percent between 2010/11 and 2019/20. These cuts have led to reduced services by local authorities, including less funding for overall housing strategy, which includes building new council homes. However, in response to the growing homelessness crisis, local authorities in London have had to increase their spending on short-term fixes that do not address the root of the problem, with expenditure on temporary accommodation more than doubling, increasing by 108 percent in real terms, between 2010/11 and 2019/20.
One other major contributing factor is the lack of social housing. Local authorities highlighted that inadequate levels of social housing in their boroughs made it difficult to provide people with more permanent housing. The problem is most acute in London, with some boroughs having a waiting list of over ten years. The UK has also, in the meantime, seen a radical, austerity-driven overhaul of the social security system since 2011, which has included reductions in levels of financial support to low-income individuals for housing, and in turn has led to an increase in people placed in temporary accommodation.
People we interviewed described conditions including toxic mold, cold temperatures, and a lack of adequate space in their temporary accommodation. These poor conditions constitute a violation of children’s rights to health and an adequate standard of living, including the right to adequate housing. The situation is worsened by the fact that some families live in “temporary” accommodation for several years.
During Covid-19 related school closures, the lack of space made it harder for children to concentrate or find a quiet environment to study, and most people interviewed said their temporary accommodation lacked a Wi-Fi connection. The situation therefore interfered with children’s right to education as well during that period.
Families also said a lack of space and uncrowded areas were a recurrent problem, and can also be dangerous, affecting the ability of children to enjoy their right to play and enjoy recreational time. This can affect children of any age, from toddlers learning to crawl and use space, to teenagers exercising.
Interviewees spoke about a general lack of support from the local authorities, including never seeing anyone carry out an inspection of their accommodation, even when requested. Others claimed that they never heard back from the local council when raising concerns, or if they did it was often with a total lack of empathy.
The UK has not incorporated the right to adequate housing into domestic law, giving victims of violation of this right an effective remedy.
Human Rights Watch recommends that the Committee ask the UK government:
- What measures is the government taking or planning to take to reduce the number of children and families in temporary accommodation and help them secure permanent housing?
- What measures is the government taking or planning to take to allocate educational resources to marginalized and low-income groups, including children living in temporary accommodation or other forms of substandard housing?
Human Rights Watch recommends that the Committee call on the UK government to:
- Ensure that social security support keeps at least pace with inflation, at a level ensuring the realization of economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to an adequate standard of living, and fully respects the right of the child to have their best interests taken as a primary consideration.
- Ensure a sufficient supply of housing, in particular by providing appropriate and affordable social housing with long-term tenancies.
- Enshrine the right to housing in domestic law as a human right, ensuring that all who experience a violation of this right, by being denied adequate housing, have access to speedy and effective remedies.
- Create a legally enforceable temporary accommodation framework that addresses adequacy, sufficiency, and habitability of temporary accommodation, particularly covering potential issues including toxic mold, protection from the cold, adequate space, and other habitability concerns.
- Provide free, equitable access to quality internet for households living in temporary accommodation with children in education, including through Wi-Fi installations, data voucher plans, and zero-rating educational websites.
- Take into account children’s right to play when placing families in temporary accommodation by ensuring children have access to a safe and sanitary environment with adequate space.
- Ensure that residents of temporary accommodation feel supported following placements and are fully aware of who to direct potential complaints or issues to.
Child poverty (articles 24, 26, and 27)
The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated deep existing levels of child poverty. The latest analysis of official child poverty data showed 4.2 million children living in poverty in 2021-22, with 44 percent of children growing up in single-parent (overwhelmingly women-led) households facing poverty. Comparable data for the previous year showed 3.6 million children living in poverty, suggesting 600,000 more children had entered poverty.
The rate of child poverty within England also varied significantly by region. A Parliamentary group-commissioned study showed particularly high child poverty rates in the North and North East of England. Research by child poverty charities also showed a high concentration of families with children in relative poverty and food insecurity in greater London.
Inadequate social security support and food insecurity
In October 2021, the government refused to reverse a real-terms social security cut, ending its £20 weekly “uplift” to Universal Credit announced in April 2020 as a pandemic-mitigation measure. The resulting cut to basic rates of social security support amounted to £1,040 per year, which experts assessed as the UK’s “biggest overnight cut to the rate of social security since World War II.”
In November 2022, the government announced that working-age social security benefits would rise by 10.1 percent to help meet the pressures of inflation on low-income households. While the increase reflected a welcome change from years of frozen social security levels, it did not take effect until April 2023, leaving low-income households without adequate support in the interim, and once implemented still fell below inflation-matching figures, resulting in a real-term cuts to social security support.
The deepening cost-of-living crisis in 2022-23 affected low-income households in the UK. Official data on inflation showed the highest rates in four decades, with consumer price index reaching 11.1 percent in October 2022. Food price inflation reached 16.9 percent in December 2022, estimated as the highest rate since 1977.
Meanwhile food bank use and food insecurity rose. By September 2022, survey data showed that 4 million children in the UK faced food insecurity, with sharp rises in households with children facing food insecurity. The Trussell Trust, the country’s largest food bank network, continued to report increasing demand for food aid, and in particular among households with children. Similarly, the Independent Food Aid Network found that by February 2023, more than half its member organizations reported an increase in households with infants under 12 months seeking food aid.
The government has begun monitoring food insecurity but is not yet doing so on a statutory basis.
In July 2021, the National Food Strategy, an independent review into the country’s food systems, recommended removing obstacles for families seeking free school meals for children; ensuring long-term food provision for children during school vacations; and extending an existing food subsidy program for pregnant people and families with young children. At present, it is not clear whether the government intends to take forward many of the suggestions of the National Food Strategy.
Two Child Limit
The “two child limit” social security policy, which curtails a household’s child allowances in Universal Credit and tax credit for any child born after April 6, 2017 in a household which already has two children, remained in place. This arbitrary limit penalizes families for having more than two children, with the resulting lower income affecting all children in the household. The latest available data show 1.3 million children in households affected by this policy. The two-child limit also creates potential barriers to parents, disproportionately women, leaving abusive relationships, as a change in family status activates the rule even if all children were born prior to April 6, 2017.  Women in such relationships may also lack power over decisions to become pregnant or maintain a pregnancy. Moreover, the “rape exception,” which exempts children born of rape from the two-child cap, requires that rape survivors declare that a child resulted from sexual violence.
Human Rights Watch recommends that the Committee call upon the government to:
- Develop a clear child poverty strategy which addresses regional inequalities.
- Ensure that social security payments at least keep pace with inflation, in particular during the current cost of living crisis.
- End the two-child limit policy immediately.
- Offer clarification on its plans to implement key aspects of the National Food Strategy’s recommendations aimed at addressing child poverty.
- Announce that it accepts the right to food as a human right, accept its duty to ensure that no child in the UK goes hungry, and ensure an effective remedy (including legal protection) for anyone whose right to food has been violated by state inaction.
 Dan Sabbagh, “First British woman and her child repatriated to UK from Syrian camp,” Guardian, October 13, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/oct/13/british-woman-and-her-child-repatriated-from-syrian-detention-camp-in-uk-first (accessed March 20, 2023).
 Reprieve, Trafficked to ISIS: British Families Detained in Syria after Being Trafficked to Islamic State, 2021, https://reprieve.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/04/2021_04_30_PUB-Reprieve-Report-Trafficked-to-Syria-British-families-detained-in-Syria-after-being-trafficked-to-Islamic-State-1.pdf (accessed September 22, 2022), p. 45.
 Reprieve, “Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in response to the call for input on “the rights of the child and family reunification” pursuant to resolution 45/30 of the Human Rights Council,” [n.d.], https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/2022-03/Reprieve.pdf (accessed September 22, 2022), p. 5.
 Special Immigration Appeals Commission, Shamima Begum v. The Secretary of State for the Home Department (SC/163/2019), Judgement of February 22, 2023; see also Thaslima Begum, “MPs call for British child and ill mother to be returned to UK from Syrian camp,” Guardian, April 14, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/apr/14/mps-call-for-british-child-and-ill-mother-to-be-returned-to-uk-from-syrian-camp (accessed September 22, 2022).
 Yasmine Ahmed, “Shamima Begum Ruling a Dark Stain on the UK Justice System,” Human Rights Watch dispatch, February 23, 2023, https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/02/23/shamima-begum-ruling-dark-stain-uk-justice-system.
 Shamima Begum v. The Secretary of State for the Home Department (SC/163/2019), para. 224.
 UK Supreme Court, R (on the application of Begum) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department (UKSC 2020/0157), Judgement of February 26, 2021; See also Yasmine Ahmed, “The UK Supreme Court Has Failed Shamima Begum,” Human Rights Watch dispatch, March 2, 2021, https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/03/02/uk-supreme-court-has-failed-shamima-begum.
 “Syria: Repatriations Lag for Foreigners with Alleged ISIS Ties,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 15, 2022, https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/15/syria-repatriations-lag-foreigners-alleged-isis-ties.
 “Northeast Syria: Turkish Strikes Exacerbate Humanitarian Crisis,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 7, 2022, https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/07/northeast-syria-turkish-strikes-exacerbate-humanitarian-crisis.
 Karwan Faidhi Dri, “Turkish attack on camp, prison holding ISIS families kills 8 security members: SDF,” RUDAW, November 24, 2022, https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/241120221 (accessed February 15, 2023); “Northeast Syria: Turkish Strikes Exacerbate Humanitarian Crisis,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 7, 2022.
 Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee, “ISIS infiltrated a refugee camp to recruit fighters. Inside the Biden admin’s plan to stop it,” NBC News, October 6, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/isis-syria-al-hol-camp-population-reduced-biden-administration-plan-rcna50877 (accessed February 15, 2023).
 Rojava Information Center, High Value Arrest and High Profile Assassinations Kick Off New Year, February 7, 2021, https://rojavainformationcenter.com/2021/02/report-high-value-arrest-and-high-profile-assassinations-kick-off-new-year/ (accessed September 8, 2022); Jane Arraf, “Violence Erupts at Syrian Camp for ISIS Families, Leaving a Child Dead,” New York Times, February 9, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/09/world/middleeast/syria-camp-violence.html (accessed September 8, 2022).
 UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Joint Statement on the Killing of a Humanitarian Aid Worker, Al Hol Camp,” statement by United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Mr. Imran Riza, and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mr. Muhannad Hadi, January 12, 2022, https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/united-nations-resident-coordinator-and-humanitarian-coordinator-14 (accessed September 8, 2022); “Syria: UN Human Rights Chief condemns brutal killing of two girls, alarmed by sharp rise in violence at Al-Hol camp,” Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights press release, November 18, 2022.
 UN Human Rights Council, “Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic,” A/HRC/51/45, September 14, 2022, https://www.ohchr.org/en/hr-bodies/hrc/iici-syria/report-coi-syria-september2022 (accessed January 17, 2023), para. 92.
 Human Rights Watch phone interview with a foreign detainee held in al-Sina’a prison in northeast Syria, January 25, 2022.
 Human Rights Watch visits to Houry center, northeast Syria, June 24, 2019, and May 15, 2022. See also "Syria: Repatriations Lag for Foreigners with Alleged ISIS Ties,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 15, 2022.
 UN Human Rights Council, “Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic,” A/HRC/51/45, September 14, 2022, https://www.ohchr.org/en/hr-bodies/hrc/iici-syria/report-coi-syria-september2022 (accessed January 17, 2023).
 Human Rights Watch interviews with three detained foreign boys, Alaya Prison (name and details withheld), May 22, 2022, and with two mothers of detained boys, Roj camp, May 21, 2022, as well as interviews with local aid workers and camp officials including at al-Hol and Roj camps, May 17 and 19, 2022, respectively, and elsewhere in northeast Syria, May 15-22, 2022.
 Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Constatations adoptées par le Comité au titre du Protocole facultatif à la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant établissant une procédure de présentation de communications, concernant les communications nos 77/2019, 79/2019 et 109/2019,” CRC/C/89/D/77, 79, 109/2019, February 23, 2022, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2f89%2fD%2f77-79-109-2019 (accessed October 21, 2022); Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Views adopted by the Committee under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure, concerning communication No. 100/2019,” CRC/C/91/D/100/2019, October 20, 2022, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2f91%2fD%2f100%2f2019 (accessed October 21, 2022).
 “Syria: France has violated the Convention against Torture according to the UN,” Majalat, January 25, 2023, https://www.majalat.org/news/syria-france-has-violated-convention-against-torture-according-un; and “Français dans les camps syriens : Paris enfreint la Convention contre la torture, estime l’ONU, ” Le Monde/AFP, January 21, 2023, https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2023/01/21/francais-dans-les-camps-syriens-paris-enfreint-la-convention-contre-la-torture-estime-l-onu_6158808_3210.html (accessed April 6, 2023).
 Human Rights Watch, “I Want Us to Live Like Humans Again”: Families in Temporary Accommodation in London, UK (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2022) https://www.hrw.org/report/2022/01/17/i-want-us-live-humans-again/families-temporary-accommodation-london-uk.
 UK Government, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, “Detailed local authority level tables: October to December 2021 (revised),” last updated February 28, 2023, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness#statutory-homelessness-live-tables (accessed March 21, 2023).
 Graham Atkins and Stuart Hoddinott, “Local government funding in England,” Institute for Government, March 10, 2020, https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/local-government-funding-england (accessed March 21, 2023).
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 Local councils are elected government bodies which manage local areas.
 Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, “Revenue outturn (RO4 - housing services) 2010 to 2011,” last updated December 5, 2012, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing-england-2010-to-2011-individual-local-authority-data--5 (accessed December 15, 2021), lines 39-46, 48; Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, “Revenue outturn housing services (RO4) 2019 to 2020,” last updated June 11, 2021, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing-england-2019-to-2020-individual-local-authority-data-outturn (accessed December 15, 2021), lines 39-46, 48. Expenditures adjusted for inflation using HM Treasury’s GDP deflator, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/gdp-deflators-at-market-prices-and-money-gdp-march-2021-budget (accessed January 5, 2022).
 Letter from Newham Council to Human Rights Watch, September 17, 2021 (on file).
 For example, Mulki Ibrahim, her husband, and their three children, ages 1, 6, and 7 (at the time of interviewing) all lived in a one-bedroom flat in Wandsworth, which the council owns. She said mold was a problem in every room, including above the bed where her oldest children sleep, and that the mold gets worse in winter as it is too cold to open the windows for ventilation. They had lived there for six years, and she said she and her 6- and 7-year-olds suffer chest pains and respiratory problems each year. Human Rights Watch, “I Want Us to Live Like Humans Again.”
 Child Poverty Action Group analysis of Department of Work and Pensions data, “Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2021/22,” https://cpag.org.uk/child-poverty/child-poverty-facts-and-figures (accessed April 5, 2023).
 See End Child Poverty Coalition, “Local indicators of child poverty after housing costs, 2020/21,” https://endchildpoverty.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Local-child-poverty-indicators-report-2022_FINAL.pdf (accessed April 5, 2023).
 See End Child Poverty Coalition’s database of local child poverty rates, after housing costs for further analysis: https://endchildpoverty.org.uk/child-poverty/ (accessed April 5, 2023).
 Northern Health Science Alliance, “Child Poverty and the Cost of Living Crisis: A report prepared for the APPG Child of the North,” January 2023, https://www.thenhsa.co.uk/app/uploads/2023/01/COTN-APPG.pdf (accessed April 5, 2023).
 See London Child Poverty Alliance, “Manifesto for a child poverty-free London,” March 2022, https://trustforlondon.fra1.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/media/documents/LCPA-Manifesto-For-A-Child_Poverty-Free-London.pdf (accessed April 5, 2023).
 Human Rights Watch Letter to UK Parliamentarians Regarding Impending Cut to Social Security Support, September 2, 2021, https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/09/03/human-rights-watch-letter-uk-parliamentarians-regarding-impending-cut-social.
 Harriet Anderson, “UK heading for the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since World War II,” Joseph Rowntree Foundation, July 23, 2021, https://www.jrf.org.uk/press/uk-heading-biggest-overnight-cut-basic-rate-social-security-world-war-ii (accessed April 5, 2023).
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 Shona Goudie, “New data shows 4 million children in households affected by food insecurity,” The Food Foundation, October 18, 2022, https://foodfoundation.org.uk/publication/new-data-show-4-million-children-households-affected-food-insecurity (accessed April 5, 2023).
 Trussell Trust, “Emergency food parcel distribution in the United Kingdom: April- September 2022,” [n.d.], https://www.trusselltrust.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/11/MYS-UK-Factsheet-2022.pdf (accessed April 5, 2023).
 Independent Food Aid Network, data briefings, https://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/data (accessed April 5, 2023).
 Kartik Raj, “UK National Food Strategy Has Game-Changing Potential,” Human Rights Watch Dispatch, July 15, 2021, https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/15/uk-national-food-strategy-has-game-changing-potential.
 National Food Strategy, Independent Review, Chapter 16, July 2021, https://www.nationalfoodstrategy.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/National-Food-Strategy-Chapter-16.pdf (accessed April 5, 2023).
 Child Poverty Action Group, “DWP Statistics: One in twelve children live in families affected by Two-Child Limit,” July 14, 2022, https://cpag.org.uk/news-blogs/news-listings/dwp-statistics-one-twelve-children-live-families-affected-two-child-limit (accessed April 5, 2023). See also Kate Andersen, Ruth Patrick, and Aaron Reeves, “Needs Matter: How the two-child limit and the benefit cap harm children,” July 14, 2022, https://largerfamilies.study/publications/needs-matter/ (accessed April 5, 2023).
 Women’s Policy Group, “Opposing the two child tax credit cap and rape clause,” [n.d.], https://wrda.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/opposing-the-two-child-cap-and-rape-clause-2017-briefing.pdf (accessed April 5, 2023).
 The Equality and Human Rights Commission has noted the “invasive reporting requirements” and that the policy fails to “fully consider the impact of the implementation of this exemption, including the potentially traumatic process for having eligibility assessed and the risk of re-traumatisation upon survivors of rape,” as well as children who may discover that they were born of rape. Equality and Human Rights Commission, April 21, 2017, https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/letter-to-damian-hinds-child-tax-credits-rape-clause-21-april-2017.pdf (accessed April 5, 2023); see also Patrick Butler, “Data shows 900 women in UK affected by benefit cap 'rape clause',” July 17, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jul/17/data-shows-900-women-in-uk-affected-by-tax-credit-clause (accessed April 5, 2023).