A coalition of 30 children’s charities led by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, including NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service), have sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, calling for the UK Government to abandon its proposals for a Bill of Rights, which is expected to feature in the forthcoming Queen’s speech.


Who are the Children’s Rights Alliance for England?

The Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) protects the human rights of children by lobbying government and others who hold power. Collectively, the CRAE represent decades of experience in children’s rights across all four jurisdictions of the UK

They provide legal information, raise awareness of children's human rights, and undertake research about children’s access to their rights. They mobilise others, including children and young people, to take action to promote and protect children's human rights. Each year they publish a review of the State of children's rights in England, and NYAS  are proud to support this alliance.

Why is the Human Rights Act important for children's rights?

The CRAE have warned that the Government’s proposals to scrap the Human Rights Act will significantly weaken children’s human rights. They have also argued that it will restrict the ability of children to hold the Government and public bodies to account when their rights have been infringed.

The Human Rights Act plays a crucial role in the protection and promotion of the rights of children. Since it came into force, it has provided important protections for some of our most vulnerable children, such as children in care, child witnesses, children in custody, and refugee children.

Importantly for children who depend heavily on public services, Section 6 of the Human Rights Act also places a duty on public bodies to comply with the human rights obligations contained within it, including the police and the youth secure estate, care institutions, courts, publicly funded schools, and local authorities.


Why have the Children’s Rights Alliance for England written to the UK Government?

The coalition is deeply concerned with the Government’s specific proposals which could:

  • Create unnecessary barriers to children’s access to justice</strong>, complicate, delay and add costs to proceedings through introducing a ‘permission stage’ at the start of a human rights legal case.
  • Change the definition of ‘public authorities’</strong>. This could mean that the HRA does not apply to private providers of public services. This is particularly crucial for the protection of children who live in institutions run by private providers, for example, Secure Training Centres and children’s homes.
  • Stop the courts overturning secondary legislation that is incompatible with children’s rights and the HRAand instead only allow them to make a ‘declaration of incompatibility’. Secondary legislation covers regulationsthat can have a wide-ranging impact on many aspects of children’s lives, such as welfare reform.

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