The Children's Rights Alliance has said the priority for the next government must be to address child homelessness.

The alliance's Report Card 2020 has given the outgoing Government a 'C+' for its efforts in the area of children's rights over the past 12 months, which is up from a 'C' in 2019.

According to the organisation, the areas that need improving are homelessness, mental health and the rights of Traveller and Roma children, which received a 'D' in the report card.

Commenting on the Report Card, CRA Chief Executive Tanya Ward said: "Very little progress has been made in relation to child mental health and it remains a challenge that the next government must now meet with greater urgency."

She said they had recorded poor performance from the Government year after year on the issue of child homelessness, adding that the grade in this area has fluctuated "from an 'E' to an 'F' over the past four years - the lowest grades awarded to any of the areas assessed".

Ms Ward also said little had been done to address the fact that Traveller families are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis.

She said: "While Traveller families make up less than 1% of the population, they make up 9% of the homeless population and face the highest level of discrimination when accessing housing.

"Traveller and Roma children are more likely to report being bullied and many children report hiding their identity."

The Children's Rights Alliance said the reason the grade increased from a 'C' to 'C+' was because the Government reached its commitments across a number of areas.

In terms of health, primary care went from a 'C+' in 2019 to 'B' in 2020.

Subsidised and school-age childcare was given a 'B' for 2020, up from a 'C+' in 2019, and refugee and asylum-seeking children went from a 'D-' in 2019 to 'C+' in 2020.