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There is no case for law undermining children’s rights to continue into September – NYAS’ response to flawed government consultation

6th Aug 2020

We have once again called for the immediate withdrawal of SI 445, legislation introduced in April that removes or dilutes children’s rights. The government consultation closed yesterday and sought views on extending the time limit of certain “flexibilities” past September.

Our letter cites statements from the Children’s Commissioner, who said that the changes were without “justification”, and the Children’s Minister herself, who said that the “majority of regulatory flexibilities have rarely been used”.

We responded to the consultation by letter rather than the government’s proposed survey, as analysis by leading academics found serious flaws in its methodology. Any findings from the consultation will likely be unfit to draw conclusions from. As with our letters, petitions and briefings on this topic, we are doing all we can to foreground the impact this legislation has on children’s rights.

You can read our consultation submission here.

The academic review of the Government’s consultation can also be found here.

No credible case has been made for SI 445 445, which removes or dilutes 65 protections for children in care, to remain in place until 25th September 2020.

Rita Waters, Chief Executive of NYAS, said “Care-experienced children and young people need robust support throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, but instead they have seen their rights stripped away from them. There is no justification for keeping SI 445 on the statute books, and we reject the assumption in this consultation survey that late September is the earliest opportunity to withdraw the legislation.”

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