'State of Children’s Rights in England 2016' Report

This year’s ‘State of Children’s Rights in England’ finds that increasing numbers of children have been let down in 2016 and denied the basic things they need to develop and thrive.

Our annual assessment of what life is like for children in England finds that they are bearing the brunt of the Government’s spending decisions and welfare cuts. Increasing numbers of children will go into 2017 without a permanent roof over their head or living illegally in cramped, dirty and unsafe Bed & Breakfasts (B&Bs) for long periods of time.

Despite soaring levels of poor mental health and self harm amongst children, sometimes with fatal consequences, very vulnerable children are not being cared for properly or kept safe during periods of mental health crisis.

Children are also experiencing poor treatment when in contact with the police – as shown by shocking new statistics on the use of Tasers, strip searching and spit hoods. Children from black or minority ethnic backgrounds are increasingly over-represented in the youth justice system. Read our press release for more detail.

Other issues covered in the report include rising rates of child poverty and sexual exploitation, severe breaches to the rights of refugee children, cuts to children’s services and widening levels of health and educational inequality.

The ‘State of Children’s Rights in England 2016’ draws on hundreds of sources and responses to Freedom of Information requests (FOIs) to examine how children and young people are faring in all aspects of their lives. Ahead of Human Rights Day on the 10th December, it assesses how well England is meeting its commitments under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, an internationally binding treaty the UK ratified in 1991.

However, despite the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s warning in June 2016 that the UK is not doing enough to prioritise children, the Government has so far failed to take decisive action on their recommendations.

This year the report takes the form of eight easy-to-read thematic stand-alone briefings:

  1. Exec Summary
  2. Children at the Centre - The General Measures of Implementation & General Principles of the CRC
  3. Poverty & Homelessness
  4. Safeguarding Children
  5. Immigration, Asylum & Trafficking
  6. Education, Leisure & Cultural Activities
  7. Health
  8. Policing & Criminal Justice