Published: 12th September 2017
In accordance with the second reading of the EU Withdrawal Bill on 7th September 2017, a group of leading children’s charities have called for changes to the Bill that would see the rights of children protected in a more significant way.
The future of children’s rights following Brexit
The group of charities have suggested that the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is the most fundamental constitutional change to the UK for a generation. They have also stated that it is critical that parliament consider the impacts of leaving the EU on the safety, welfare and rights of children, throughout the process of the Withdrawal Bill being passed. It is also suggested by the charities involved that the Government should ensure that the best interests of children are put first, ensuring their safety.
Amongst the charities involved in the publishing of the briefing, it is considered that the Withdrawal Bill provides a fantastic opportunity to the UK, providing the ability to affirm its role as a global leader and supporter of the rights of children. They believe that, whilst current UK law doesn’t consist of automatic protection of children’s rights, the Withdrawal Bill offers the UK the ability to ensure that the current and future governments would have to implement absolute consideration of children’s rights in all future policies and legislations.
European Union Withdrawal Bill Briefing
Although it is intended that the Withdrawal Bill will incorporate current EU legislations into UK law, there is the potential that children’s rights could lessen as a result of a lack of renewed commitment to child welfare, particularly as future governments attempt to correct and update the statute book, following Brexit.
The briefing, of which has been supported by a variety of leading organisations that represent children throughout the whole of the UK, consists of two key changes that they feel should be made available for debate within latter stages of the Withdrawal Bill. The amendments include the "protection and promotion of children’s rights", as well as "ensuring that cross-border mechanisms are in place to safeguard children and ensuring adequate structural funding to address inequalities".
The briefing also points out that, throughout each area addressed within the briefing, the charities main aim is to ensure that any current rights and protections that are in place for children, as part of the European Union, are continued throughout and following Brexit. Not only would this see a continued high-standard of children’s rights, but it would also place a duty onto ministers of enforcing and considering all relevant arrangements and legislations. In relation to the rights of children, the briefing may be a key element in the process of exiting the European Union, and so any impact that the briefing can have upon Britain’s future will be considered a great success.
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