The four children’s commissioners will this week place the UK’s poor treatment of vulnerable children in the international spotlight.
They are visiting the United Nations office in Geneva on Wednesday to deliver their first joint report, published today, showing how the UK is failing to uphold the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The commissioners say the worst injustices are found in youth justice, immigration, and the use of restraint in institutions, while child poverty remains a serious issue.
The critical report, which took 18 months to prepare, highlights 192 areas of concern with 110 accompanying recommendations. It will be submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in advance of its third periodic review of the UK’s compliance with the convention, due to be published in October.
The Children’s Rights Alliance for England (Crae), an alliance of more than 380 voluntary and statutory agencies, is also visiting Geneva with a delegation of children who will give evidence before the committee.
Their visit coincides with the publication of a “disturbing” report from Crae complementing the study by the commissioners, which makes more than 150 recommendations.
Carolyne Willow, Crae’s national co-ordinator, said: “Although this government has put children at the heart of its programme, it has failed to protect the most vulnerable and has shown very little interest in helping to create a culture of respect for children’s rights.”
Anita Tiessen, deputy executive director of Unicef UK, said although the UK government has made some good progress, the number of recommendations contained in the reports shows “just how much work still needs to be done”.
Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People
Children’s Rights Alliance for England