Centre for Social Justice

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is an independent think tank that studies the root causes of Britain’s social problems and addresses them by recommending practical, workable policy interventions. The CSJ’s vision is for those living in the poorest and most disadvantaged communities across Britain to be given every opportunity to flourish and reach their full potential.

The CSJ is unique in that it connects the corridors of power with the back streets of Britain through its partnership with the CSJ Foundation.  Through our offices across the UK, we work with more than 500 grassroot charities on the frontlines of Britain’s most challenged communities to champion and harness their experience and expertise of addressing poverty as part of our policy development.

Since its inception in 2004, the CSJ has changed the landscape of our political discourse by putting social justice at the heart of British politics. This has led to a transformation in Government thinking and policy. We bring this vision to life by seeking to influence the policies the Government creates and the laws it makes, such that it does all it can to address the root causes of poverty.

These are:

  • Family breakdown
  • Educational failure
  • Worklessness
  • Addiction
  • Problem debt
  • Housing & Community
  • Criminal justice
  • Modern slavery

The CSJ’s work is widely regarded as the architect of Universal Credit, dramatically improving the welfare system; and inspiring the Modern Slavery Act 2015, one of the first pieces of legislation in the world to address slavery and trafficking in the 21st century.

In 2022, 43% of CSJ recommendations were adopted by government, including the establishment of the Enforcement Conduct Board to regulate bailiffs, a new approach to long-term drugs strategy, a public health approach to domestic abuse, the roll-out of Family Hubs, and the adoption and measurement of severe absence from schools.


Latest reports

Lonely nation

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice offers a new perspective on loneliness and social isolation. Loneliness in Britain is worse than ever. During 2023 a quarter of the population felt regularly lonely, a figure that has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the UK leading the way in launching the...

Read more

Living rent that works

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice looks at unlocking genuinely affordable homes for thriving lives. The Government supports those least well off through the provision of “affordable housing”. However, too often these homes do not live up to their name. Previously, we have found that less than a quarter of...

Read more

Drowning not waving

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice outlines a bleak future without urgent action to support Scotland’s vital charity sector. In September 2023, the CSJ office in Scotland embarked on a mission to understand the challenges faced by grassroots charities. Through polling 1,000 people in Scotland and engaging with 80 charity...

Read more

Creating a Britain that works and cares

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice proposes several key policies to facilitate carers’ participation in the labour market. In 2021-22 alone, nearly 400,000 carers had to leave their jobs to care for older or disabled family members. Despite this, there’s a strong desire among carers to engage in paid employment,...

Read more

Criminal exploitation

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice examines the impact of criminal exploitation or modern slavery by another name. The typical understanding many people have of modern slavery involves foreign nationals exploited in prostitution or forced to work in inhumane conditions under threats and violence. Yet the most prevalent form of...

Read more

Suspending reality

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice explores the drivers behind rising rates of school exclusion. Suspended Reality: Part 2 explores the drivers behind rising rates of school exclusion, focusing on multi-academy trusts, informed by extensive engagement with a broad range of education leaders across the sector. It considers the challenges...

Read more

The missing link

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice looks at restoring the bond between schools and families. The Centre for Social Justice first revealed the crisis in school absence in 2021 and has since led the charge in understanding and offering solutions to getting children back to school. New polling for the...

Read more

Two nations

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice sheds light on the exacerbated challenges faced by the most deprived communities. The UK is in danger of sliding back into the “Two Nations” of the Victorian era marked by a widening gulf between mainstream society and a depressed and poverty-stricken underclass. Breakdown Britain,...

Read more

Raising the roof

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice offers landlords suggestions as to how they can exhibit excellence in the provision of residential accommodation. Renting privately can and should be a tenure where people feel they can thrive in a good home. Indeed, there are many good landlords and a lot of...

Read more

Game changer

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice looks at the Government's Get Active Strategy. We welcome the ambitions set out in the Government’s recently published Get Active Strategy. However, we now need a clear, strategic national plan delivering on those ambitions—especially for disadvantaged children and young people. This report sets out...

Read more

Out in the open

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice provides a framework for the regulation of unrestricted alternative provision. Across mainstream schooling and registered alternative provision, there are processes in place to check this is the case. The same cannot be said of children and young people in unregistered alternative provision (AP). This...

Read more

School absence tracker

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice provides a termly analysis of official data relating to absence from schools. The number of severely absent pupils has soared by 108 per cent since the pandemic. In Autumn 2022, 125,222 pupils were absent more often than they were present (severely absent), 1.7 per...

Read more

Unlocking aspiration

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice looks at breaking down barriers to work for people leaving prison. Britain’s economy is clamouring for workers. So much so that the Government dubbed the main fiscal event of 2023 its “back to work Budget”, introducing a new Universal Support scheme to help tens...

Read more

Friend or Foe?

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice looks at equipping debt advisors to tackle illegal money. On the front lines, Britain’s debt advisers are facing an increased demand. Debt advice agencies across the board are witnessing steep rises in the need for debt advice and Citizens Advice, StepChange, and Christians Against...

Read more

Lost and not found

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice looks at how severe absence became endemic in England's schools. Since 2021, the Centre for Social Justice has been investigating the issue of school absence. Our report, Kids Can’t Catch Up, first revealed that nearly 100,000 children had become severely absent in Autumn 2020....

Read more