UK government failing to protect children, says rights organisation

The UK government is failing in its duty to protect children, the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) has claimed.

In a report entitled The State of Children’s Rights In England, CRAE examines the government’s track record on the implementation of 118 recommendations for the improvement of children’s rights made by the United Nations in 2008. The lobbying group claims that in almost a third of the areas covered by the recommendations, life has become worse rather than better for UK children.

The findings include:

  • More than 3,000 foster children are estimated to have gone missing in the year to March 2012.
  • Thirty-six per cent of care leavers in the year in 2011-12 were not in education, employment or training.
  • In 2011, just 13.9 per cent of children in care achieved good GCSE grades in both English and Mathematics, compared to 58.6 per cent of other children.
  • Thirty-six of children in custody in October 2012 were black or minority ethnic, an increase of three per cent since October 2011. Meanwhile, the overall number of children in custody has fallen by 21 per cent.

CRAE claims the government has not fulfilled a 2010 pledge to give “due consideration” to United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child when making new policy and legislation. When CRAE questioned 17 government departments, only the Department for Education could demonstrate that it had undertaken any analysis of its plans in relation to children’s rights.

CRAE director Paola Uccellari said:

“There is a massive question mark over the Government’s commitment to children’s rights. ….The UN criticised theUK’s record on children’s rights four years ago – but we keep moving backwards on many of these issues. The Government’s lack of progress is not surprising when we find out that it is flouting its own promise to check whether its policies breach children’s rights.”

Photo by Seema Krishnakumar via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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