The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have reported that the UK is still not doing enough to prioritise children.
Whilst there has been some improvement since their last report in 2008, recent spending cuts have had an adverse effect on children’s rights.
The Committee have provided over 150 recommendations to the UK Government. These include:
- Sorting out the shocking numbers of children suffering mental health problems
- Making immediate improvements to the treatment of children in custody, including stopping the use of solitary confinement and abolishing the use of deliberately painful restraint on children.
- Reviewing its asylum policy in order to help unaccompanied and separated children reunite with their family from both within and outside the UK.
- Creating a new government body with responsibility for children’s rights.
The Children’s Charities Verdict
A coalition of children focused charities, including Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society, Unicef UK, and others say that this report highlights many gaps that currently exist in the UK for children’s rights. They say that children have borne the brunt of spending cuts and that laws are made without ‘proper consideration of how they affect children.’ The report calls on the UK to ‘introduce a statutory obligation’ to consider the needs of children ‘when developing laws and policies affecting children.’
Louise King, the Director of Children’s Right Alliance for England (CRAE) said:
The UN’s verdict on the UK’s treatment of children should act as a wake-up call that much more needs to be done to prioritise children’s rights in England. We want the Government to show leadership and take concerted action to address the UN’s concerns. To ensure a fresh focus on children, a senior, Cabinet-level minister must be given responsibility for putting children’s rights where they should be – at the heart of all government decision-making.
- You can find the full report here.
- For our jam-packed site section on children’s rights, click here.
- Our interview with MEP Jean Lambert on protecting European children’s rights can be found here.
- For our coverage of the investigation into an 11-year-old girl’s arbitrary detention, handcuffing and hooding, click here.