Rights of the child

Convention on the Rights of the Child 

The UK Government's most recent report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child was considered during the Committee's 49th Session, on 23 and 24 September 2008. The Commission produced a ‘shadow’ report which assesses how well we are doing in Britain at protecting children's rights.

This important convention has not yet been fully incorporated into British law and our report calls on the Government to fully implement the convention by ratifying all protocols.  It should end reservations on the involvement of children in armed conflict, ratify the protocol on the sale and prostitution of children, and remove reservations from children subject to immigration controls.

Other concerns highlighted in our report were:

  • that 'the best interests of the child' is not always at the heart of policy making
  • the lack of advocacy for children
  • that punitive rather than rehabilititative approaches to offending or bad behaviour are being increasing adopted, and
  • that certain groups of children, for example black boys, Gypsy and Traveller children, asylum seeker children and children in care, are not benefitting from the wealth and opportunities that Britain has to offer.

We recommended that the forthcoming Single Equality Bill should further protect children, for example by including measures to tackle homophobic harrassment in schools, and by extending protections against age discrimination.

Download our report to find out more: 

Shadow Report on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of the United Kingdom to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Word 950Kb)

Find out what the UN Committee concluded after examination of the UK Government

Find out more about the work of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child 

Read the Convention on the Rights of the Child

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