Government flouts UN agreement

The government has come under fire for failing to fully implement a United Nations agreement on the rights of child asylum seekers.

In a progress report to the UN, the government says effective immigration control would be “compromised” if it removed its reservation to article 22 of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The article says child asylum seekers must receive appropriate protection and where no family can be found “the child shall be accorded the same protection as any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any reason“.

The government report adds: “notwithstanding the Reservation, there are appropriate social and legal mechanisms in place to ensure that all children present in the UK receive appropriate levels of protection and care.”

But charity Save the Children said the government’s position was not supported by evidence, pointing out that around 2,000 children are detained with their families in the UK each year. And it suggested there was a lack of quality services for separated children and inadequate age assessment procedures.

The report also admits that the government suffered a setback with the recent 100,000 increase in the number of children in poverty but pledges to reverse it, pointing out that poverty has fallen faster in the UK than any other EU country.

Save the Children called on the government to invest the £4 billion necessary to meet the 2010 target of halving child poverty and introduce seasonal grants to help families at the most difficult times of year.

Related articles

Gordon Brown pledges to unite “forces of compassion” in ending child poverty after election as Labour leader
Howard League hammers government over UN charter

See what The Child Minder says on asylum seeking children

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 Simeon Brody


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