EU (Withdrawal) Bill and children's rights

By agency reporter
February 3, 2018

The Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) has been working across the children’s sector to ensure that Brexit does not result in children’s rights being diluted.  Ahead of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill’s Second Reading in the House of Lords on 30 and 31 January 2018, three joint briefings were circulated to Peers on key child rights issues.

The first briefing focused on the importance of the Charter of Fundamental Rights for Children highlighting its important, unique rights that are not otherwise reflected in domestic UK law. The second briefing raised concern’s about the Government’s decision to create delegated powers (dubbed  ‘Henry VIII powers’) and the need for Ministers to have a statutory duty to have due regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child when making decisions using these powers or decisions concerning issues that currently fall within EU competence.

The third briefing highlighted the need for the continued close co-operation of cross border law enforcement and safeguarding organisations in order to prevent child trafficking across European borders and recommends that the Government retain these relationships by committing to a cross border children’s safeguarding strategy.

CRAE was pleased to see that a number of Peers raised issues relating to children’s rights during the debate, including Baroness Massey who said, “The Children’s Rights Alliance makes a powerful argument for retaining the Charter of Fundamental Rights, due to be removed in Clause 5 of the Bill. Some charter rights—for example, those relating to children—have no equivalent protection in UK law.”

Read the three briefings:

* Charter of Fundamental Rights – a children’s rights perspective here

* The protection and promotion of children’s rights here

* Ensuring cross-border mechanisms are in place to safeguard children here



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