The body which reports on the U.K.’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Its last report was issued last month. While the recent report of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights received quite a lot of media attention, with its criticisms of UK austerity policies, children’s rights do not seem to have received the same level of attention.
Meanwhile, children’s rights have been receiving attention in a different way, in recent online exchanges over the last couple of days concerning the Children and Social Work Bill. Specifically,
- various social work luminaries wrote a joint letter about the Bill, published in the Guardian, which expressed concern among other things that clause 15 “fundamentally undermines a rights-based approach to meeting children’s needs”;
- a twitter response described some of the co-authors as “reactionary on innovation”; linking to a discussion on, among other things, children’s rights;
- the Chief Social Worker for England (Children and Families), speaking at the Association of Directors of Children’s Services Conference defended the so-called “exemptions” provisions of the Bill. “Contrary to the media headlines, this is not some kind of sinister political plot to overthrow public authorities or a ruse to wipe out decades of children’s rights,” Trowler said; and
- the Minister, at the same conference, urged delegates to “to ignore “conspiracy theories” on the motives behind the government’s social care reform agenda”.
I am not really convinced by urgings that we should trust civil servants and ministers in relation to children’s rights, Continue reading The state of child rights in the UK reviewed