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Civil Society reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Date: July 2015

Children’s charities today (Wednesday 1 July) launched a damning report highlighting how Government policies and spending decisions have failed to prioritise children. Based on the evidence in the report, children's charities are asking the Government to put children at the centre of decision-making, including in the forthcoming Budget.

New research for the coalition of charities in the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), indicates that Government policy means:

  • millions of children continue to live in poverty

  • spending on services for children and families has fallen to 2006 levels, despite increasing need

  • many vulnerable children are no longer entitled to help with legal advice and representation costs, severely limiting their access to justice

  • an increasingly hostile environment aimed at migrants means many vulnerable children are facing more restrictive immigration policies, cutting them off from access to justice and from basic services.

The report sets out how the UK Government breaches its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), because it is not fully considering how its decisions affect children. It has been submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child as part of its examination of how well the UK is respecting children's rights.

To understand the impact government decisions have on children, CRAE also carried out research among nearly 1,000 marginalised children in England. Children told them:

 “Young people are portrayed like scum” (boy, 14) 

“We wouldn’t have…that much food, we would never have money to… the food bank helps a lot because we get food” (girl, 12) 

“My social worker wasn’t there when I needed them most” (girl, 14)

“I was in a B&B for, like, 17 weeks with smack heads…adult smack heads…” (girl, 17) 

“I share [a bedroom] with my aunty, my big sister and my other sister. And my Mum sleeps with my Dad and my sister” (boy, 8)

Read a summary of the Civil Society report

Read the full Civil Society report

Read the children's See it, Say it, Change it submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

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