In response to evidence provided by civil society organisations in England, including Just Fair, the Committee on the Rights of the Child has asked the UK Government to provide information on key child rights issues including child poverty and resourcing for child rights.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international human rights treaty which recognises children’s rights. The UK has signed and ratified this which means it is legally binding in the UK. An independent body of experts called the Committee on the Rights of the Child scrutinise the UK’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and produces a set of concluding observations.
Before the concluding observations are written up by the Committee, there are a number of processes that happen. One of these processes involves the Committee allowing civil society to submit a list of key child rights issues to the Committee. In September, we submitted our evidence here as part of the England civil society submission here. The Committee also asks the UK to submit information on specific child rights issues. You can read what the Committee asked the UK to send in here.
The Committee has asked for a range of information from the UK, including on child poverty and resourcing for child rights.
The UK is asked to provide information on how it has addressed underlying determinants of infant and child mortality, including social and economic deprivation and inequality (para 14 (a)). The UK is also asked to provide disaggregated data by socioeconomic status (para 34).
Significantly, the UK is asked to describe the measures taken to:
“Ensure that children, including those in vulnerable situations, are not affected by austerity measures or regressive measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential consequences of the economic crisis triggered by those measures” (para 7 (c)).
The full review of the UK’s compliance with child rights duties is yet to take place. However, the Committee’s list of issues for the UK provides a clear indication as to the Committee’s areas of foci. This review process will likely put pressure on the UK to ensure child rights are not at risk, even in these extraordinary times.