Joint Committee On Human Rights Eighteenth Report


The Government's response to our Tenth Report of Session 2002-03 on The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is appended to this report.

Our report took as its starting point the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the UK's second periodic report under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The UK report was submitted in 1999 and the UN Committee published its observations in October 2002.

As well as the Government's response to our own report, we examine in this report its Green Paper, Every Child Matters, published in September, which was its response to the findings of Lord Laming's inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié.

We welcome the many positive aspects of both the Green Paper and the Government's response to our report, in particular the commitment to establish a children's commissioner for England, a step we recommended in our Ninth Report of this Session.

We also note some omissions and shortcomings in the Government's response on its obligations under the Convention. In particular, we draw attention to issues relating to: the use of the Convention as a framework for policy; the treatment of children in the criminal justice system; and the continuance of the defence of "reasonable chastisement".

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Prepared 25 November 2003