UN Committee against Torture issues verdict on UK
The UN Committee against Torture has today published its recommendations to the UK, following the detailed examination of its record on torture and ill-treatment, which took place in Geneva earlier this month.
The UN Committee identifies a number of improvements since the last UK examination in 2013, such as several initiatives to revise UK legislation in areas of relevance to the Convention, including: The criminalisation of forced marriage in England and Wales; the enactment of legislation to address violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland; the adoption of the Modern Slavery Strategy; the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse; and the launch of actions plans to tackle hate crimes.
However, the UN Commitee identifies a large number of issues where improvement is needed including in relation to children. Responding to the report, Louise King, Director of CRAE said:
“The UN’s verdict should act as a wake-up call to the Government that much more needs to be done to ensure that all children are protected from violence and ill treatment. It’s critical that the UK Government shows leadership and takes concerted action to address the UN’s concerns, including the very low age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales, the sexual abuse of children in prison and the increasing use of restraint and isolation, the growing use of Tasers on children, and the lack of adequate training for police to ensure they can adequately identify child victims of trafficking.”
Around 80 civil society groups and experts submitted an alternative fact-based report to the Committee on the measures taken by the UK to meet its international obligations to prevent torture and ill-treatment, which revealed wide-ranging failures by the UK. The report was coordinated by REDRESS alongside Liberty, Freedom from Torture, Liberty, Children’s Rights Alliance for England, Children in Wales and Disability Rights UK.
Read the UN Commitee's full findings here
Read the joint press release here