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Protection of Children's Rights in Domestic Law

CRAE wants to see children’s rights protected by domestic legislation. 

There are many international human rights treaties, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which set out the rights to which children are entitled. By ratifying these treaties, the UK Government has taken on obligations under international law to ensure that children enjoy those rights. This means that laws, policies and the actions of individuals should comply with children’s rights. But unless the rights are protected in the laws of England, children cannot enforce their rights in the domestic courts.

Currently children’s rights are protected in the Human Rights Act 1998. CRAE is working to promote a better understanding of how the Human Rights Act helps children. Use the menu on the left of the screen to find out more.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child contains additional rights, which are not protected by the Human Rights Act 1998. CRAE was a founding member of the Rights of the Child UK Coalition (ROCK), a coalition pressing the UK Government to make the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child part of UK law.  Find out more about ROCK.

As well as recognising children’s rights in the law, it is important that organisations exist which have the responsibility and power to take action to protect and promote children’s rights. CRAE coordinates the Alliance for Reform of the Children’s Commissioner, which is calling for the status, powers and independence of the Children’s Commissioner for England to be improved. Use the menu on the left of the screen to find out more.

CRAE also wants children in the UK to be able to take a case to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child when they think their rights have been breached. There is an “Optional Protocol” to the UNCRC (an additional agreement) which would allow children to take complaints to the Committee, once they have been through the UK court system. The UK Government has not ratified the Optional Protocol, but CRAE is calling for the Government to do so. Use the menu on the left of the screen to find out more.