Report on UK human rights record adopted by UN
Today the report of the UK’s examination under Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was adopted by the Human Rights Council. UPR is a unique peer review mechanism of the UN’s Human Rights Council through which countries are assessed every four years on how well they are implementing their human rights treaty obligations. As a result of our joint lobbying with Together (the Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) and the Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group, a quarter of the 226 recommendations in this cycle are focused on children.
However, we are very disappointed the UK Government is only supporting 42% of the recommendations it received, especially as it is supporting just 28% of the recommendations that relate to children’s rights. You can read the full list of recommendations and the Government’s response here. Our joint statement with our sister organisations in Wales and Scotland and Defence for Children International was delivered at the Human Rights Council today as part of the discussion on the UK report. We called for the Government to rethink the number of recommendations it has ‘noted’ and implement recommendations relating to children’s rights.
We have also joined forces with other organisations across the broader voluntary sector to express our disappointment with the low number of recommendations supported by the UK; urge the Government to review its stance; and work with us to develop a human rights action plan so that concerns raised through UPR and other treaty monitoring processes are fully addressed. This joint work was picked up by The Observer last weekend.
As well as working with other human rights organisations to ensure recommendations on access to legal aid and safeguarding the Human Rights Act are acted upon, CRAE will also be continuing to work hard to ensure that other children’s rights concerns are addressed by the Government.
Issues raised under UPR include
- Ratifying the third optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Incorporating the CRC into domestic law
- Evaluating the human rights implications of the anti-terrorism ‘Prevent’ strategy
- Monitoring the implementation of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act on child trafficking
- Training the police on human rights and the use of excessive force
- Raising the age of criminal responsibility
- Abolishing life sentences for children
- Undertaking an assessment of the impact of welfare reform on children and eradicate child poverty
- Prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings, including in the family
- Taking measures to fight child sexual exploitation and domestic violence against children
- Ensuring that migrant children are not detained and reform guidance on family reunification
- Forbidding children from taking part in armed conflict hostilities
If you would like to know more about our work on UPR please contact Natalie Williams, CRAE’s Senior Policy and Public Affairs Advisor: firstname.lastname@example.org