UN review of UK implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) reviewed the UK’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in May 2016 and published their report.

UN CRC raised concerns and made recommendations on a number of children’s rights issues, including that the UK should:

• introduce a statutory obligation to systematically conduct child rights impact assessments when developing laws and policies that affect children;
• take a number of measures to ensure a child-rights approach to setting budgets, including separate budget lines for disadvantaged or vulnerable groups of children;
• assess the impact and expedite the review of the reforms to legal aid to ensure that they do not negatively affect children’s access to justice;
• ensure that restraint of children is used only as a last resort and never for disciplinary purposes, and improve data collection on its use;
• address concerns with children’s access to mental health through data collection, rigorous investment, ending police detention, and developing therapeutic community-based services;
• re-establish concrete targets for the eradication of child poverty with a set time-frame and measurable indicators;
• conduct a comprehensive assessment of the cumulative impact on children of the full range of social security and tax credit reforms introduced since 2010;
• enhance its efforts to reduce the effects of the social background or disabilities of children on their achievement in school; and
• raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility, deal with children in the juvenile justice system, use detention only as a last resort, and prohibit the use of solitary confinement.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission also made recommendations for the UK and devolved governments in April 2016.

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