The government is still breaching children’s human rights
in England despite accepting the Convention on the Rights of
the Child in 1991, according to new research,
writes Amy Taylor.
Youth justice and refugee children are among key areas of
concern, according to the study by the Secretariat of the
Children’s Rights Alliance for England, a coalition of more
than 230 organisations committed to children’s rights.
The government should “increase considerably” its
efforts to implement the convention, said Jaap Doek, chair of the
United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The Home Office said that it did not agree that the
government’s policies on juvenile justice and immigration
were in breach of the convention.
“My committee recommended in 2002 that detention should
only be used as a last resort, yet the UK still locks up more
children than most other industrialised countries. Why is this
tolerated?” he said.
“Urgent action” was particularly required to improve
the plight of children in custody, said Doek.
In October 2002 the committee made 78 recommendations to the UK
on law, policy and practice as stated in the convention but in the
past year progress has only been made on 17 of them.