UN committee says British government is failing children

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has issued its ‘concluding observations’ on the UK’s progress to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The report states it is ‘seriously concerned at the effects that recent fiscal policies and allocation of resources have had in contributing to inequality in children’s enjoyment of their rights, disproportionately affecting children in disadvantaged situations.’

As a signatory to the Convention, the British government is required to report to the UN on the progress it has made to implement the Convention and the status of children’s rights in the country.

Article 31 of the Convention recognizes the right of every child to rest, leisure, play, recreational activities and free and full participation in cultural and artistic life.

The ‘See it, Say it, Change it’ campaign helped children make submissions to the UN Committee, which included calls for safer places for children to play.

Yet the British government has failed to make the Convention enforceable in law. The UN Committee report raises this as an issue for concern, and presses the government to speed up the process.

It also calls on the government to ‘systematically conduct a child rights impact assessment when developing laws and policies affecting children’.

A coalition of charities has called on the government to put children at the centre of its decision making by appointing a senior Cabinet level minister with responsibility for children’s rights.

This echoes recommendations from the ‘Play’ report published last year by the All Party-Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Health Childhood.

Play England urges all those who champion children’s rights to help raise awareness about the government’s obligations under the Convention.  Find out more about Article 31 here:

Why play is important


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