A damning report published today by the Joint Committee on Human Rights criticises the government for its failure to address mounting child welfare concerns in the fields of immigration, legal aid and children in custody.

From appalling conditions children face in immigration centres, to growing obstacles in accessing legal support and poor treatment in custody, the government continues to fail children and place them at the bottom of their agendas, often relegated to nothing more than vote-spinning sound bites.

The report highlights how disadvantaged children have suffered disproportionately during the current austerity measures, that the government must now move to ratify the Optional Protocol to the UNCRC which would allow children in the UK the right to individual petition to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and that child welfare issues should be debated at the highest level. The Committee also noted that the Government’s recent changes to legal aid provision represented a black mark on its children’s rights record.

The Committee now want a full examination of how the government intends to uphold and promote children’s rights. You can access the Committee’s report on the UK’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child here.

There is also an interesting piece from the Children’s Rights Alliance for England on the report, and some thought-provoking statistics which they share from their own research. Some of the stats from their own findings are added below:

  • 31% of children in the UK are living in poverty
  • Families with children now make up 65% of homeless households
  • Almost all (96%) of the households affected by the benefits cap are families with children
  • Services which are supposed to support families and keep children safe are under pressure, with an increase in demand for support but a decline in resources available to offer that support