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Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 brings the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into English law. This means that children can bring cases in relation to the ECHR in English courts, though ultimately they can still seek protection through the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France if the English courts wrongly dismiss their claim.  All public bodies – like local authorities, CAFCASS, schools and hospitals - are also required to act in accordance with the rights in the Human Rights Act.

When the UK courts are considering a claim by a child under the Human Rights Act, they should refer to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.