The development of a better society depends on the better development of its children. In this respect the protection and promotion of the rights of the children are very essential. Moreover, there is a requirement of protecting the children as well as their future. In addition to that, the declaration of rights has also reminded that mankind owes the children those are given their best in the respective field. Moreover, there is a requirement of providing extra care and support because children are in need of protection from the government. In order to protect the children, there is the implementation of UNCRC which is protecting the children right and interest. In this study, there is a brief discussion regarding the overview of UNCRC as well as the role which is played by UNCRC in term of children's welfare. In the rights of children, there are some challenges as well which are faced. In addition to that, there is an impact of various legislation and children rights in the UK is also discussed. Moreover, there is the critical evaluation of the UNCRC in terms of protection and promoting the interest and rights of the children in the UK.
Overview of UNCRC
United Nation Convention on the rights of the child (UNCRC) mainly promotes the children's rights from the year 1992. The Children's Rights Alliance is using the convention framework in order to change the policies as well as services. The change is required just because the children are required to be protected, empowered as well as nurtured. The UNRC is the main basis of the Unicef's work. In the entire history, this is the widely ratified international human rights. In the UNRC there are altogether 54 articles those consisted of the child life that set out the civil, social, cultural as well as the political, right of the children. In addition to that, each of the children has an equal amount of right whatever their gender, religion, abilities, language, ethnicity or any other things. In the Convention, all the rights are interlinked and no right is more important than the others.
The UNRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. The treaty has been accepted by all the non-state entities which included some areas such as Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) which is a rebel movement in the South Sudan. In UNCRC there are four main articles which are known as the General Principles. The principles play a general role in terms of fundamental aspects. The four main general principles are non-discrimination which is in the article 2 and best interest of child which is article 3. In addition to that, the other two main principles are right to life development and survival which is in the article 6 and last is the right to be heard in the article 12. Moreover, the convention contains various agreements for the rights of children in the UK. In the year 2000, there were added two optional protocols in the UNCRC and the third protocol was added in the year 2011. The third protocol enables the children those are violated in terms of complaining directly to the committee of UN.
Role of UNCRC for children welfare
The main aim of UNCRC is to protect and promote the welfare of children from any kind of violation. The UNCRC provides the young people with those are under the age of 18 and children have some of the specific rights from the 54 articles. The UNRC role is to protect the children from any kind of violence, child labour, and education as well from any kind of health condition. The role played by UNCRC is to protect the children from any kind of violence.
Non-discrimination - The UNCRC do not discriminate between anyone and provide equal protection to everyone. While, providing care there is no discrimination in terms of their family status, religion, race or any kind of abilities. If there occurs any kind of problem then it the duty of UNCRC to provide the right amount of care for the people. In addition to that, there will be no more discrimination in terms of their age as well as each child is required to be treated fairly and there will be no more no more discrimination.
Protection of the rights - The UNCRC has the responsibility to make sure that all the rights of the children are properly respected, fulfilled as well as protected. In the protection of the rights, there are various things that come which include providing equal care, education, health and so on. In UK, any kind of violence and anything that is affecting the rights of children are required to be protected by UNCRC.
Respecting the view of children - In UNCRC they have the ability to respect the views of children. The UNCRC make an activity to involve the children in any kind of decision making and raise their voice for any bad scenario. The UNCRC commented that every child has the right to perform their duties properly without any kind of hesitation and fear.
Protection - The UNCRC has the responsibility to protect the children from any kind of harm and make them stronger for tackling the situation. If the child is facing any kind of abuse then the UNCRC has the responsibility to protect the child without having any kind of discrimination. The protection is much required for any children of any age bar as well as on the basis of race or culture. A child is required to be protected for the betterment of future.
Guiding - The UNCRC has the responsibility to guide the children and adhere them to give their best interest from the children. The guiding principle mainly includes the non-discrimination as well as there is a requirement of equal participation from the children for their guidance procedure from UNCRC.
Children rights in the machinery of Government
The Government is mostly inevitable along with that reliant for all the works which are related to the children. The UNCRC has the major role play for spreading awareness among the people in terms of reducing the risk of child abuse. Moreover, the political aspects of the in the government departments have taken an account of the rights for the child welfare. The UNCRC is required to monitor for the implementation of child welfare. In addition to that, there is an uphill battle for the development of the rights of the children welfare. Moreover, there is a requirement of providing appropriate training of the members those is providing the care for the betterment of the children. The Machinery of Government is mainly responsible Prime minister for all the functions. It is essential that Prime Minister is responsible for tackling any kind of challenges as well as the problem for the benefit of the children.
In the year 2014, UK committee on the rights of the children has provided a great confidence in the children for solving any kind of problem for the longer term. The UNCRC is wholly responsible for the betterment of the children as well as the government is supporting UNCRC for making an initiative for the betterment of children. In addition to that, care is referred as the medium of response from the Government side. In the year 2012 to 2013, there was an impact on the children right for the betterment of future. The main reason is that children are denoted as the future of world thus, it is required to protect them properly. Moreover, the departments of education also supported for the welfare of children from the governmental perspective. There are requirements for developing the children's policy of right in the educational sector. In addition to that, there was a good response from the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice and Home Office for protecting the children and provide them better future.
According to CRAE, there can be seen a fluctuation in terms of providing care to the children. In the Governmental aspects, there are some obligations which are convention as well as taken to the accounts of the rights of the children. In the 2010 commitments, there was a consideration that the children rights are noted as patchy. In the parliamentary committee, it is found that the UK Government are well aware regarding the difficulty levels in terms of communication as well as coordinating the actions for the welfare of children. Moreover, some of the departments assumed that the children rights are only for the departments of education but it is not that true. The main reason behind the disagreement is that children are required to provide the equal amount of importance for the benefit of the child welfare. In addition to that, children health and is also an important aspect of the welfare.
Children right in austerity
Austerity is a political change that takes place due to some economic reasons that begun its advent during and after the great recessions that started in 2008. Among the different, measures of austerity, the reduction in public expenditure in one of the most impactful. In this very way of cutting public expenditure, the mass life of the residents is affected greatly. The impacts of austerity are vividly found in the families with low income. The children of such families are eventually affected by the same thing and thus austerity has become a significant measure for assessing the impact of UNCRC activities in the UK.
Austerity affects the children of families with low income or very minimum level of education. Children of a country are affected by austerity through the less or nil realization of the human rights allowed to them or the absence of child right initiatives in particular. A survey conducted within the EU region state that families with low-income intensity have 56.7% chance to put the children in acute poverty which is potential to harm the fundamental rights of a child. The level of austerity is equally worse in the families where the parents were born outside Europe. Social exclusion, on the other hand, poses a great threat to children right in the UK. Children of single mothers form a visible example of this. It has been seen that children from single parents, especially from single mother suffer from more intense social exclusion which amounts to harm the child right of the toddlers.
In the UK, the advent of austerity has started before the recessions of 2008. By the middle of 1980, UK had one of the worst rates of child poverty which is the main reason for austerity. In spite of the worse situation during the recession period, measures were taken by a government to safeguard the families with children so that the rights of the children can be maintained according to the UNCRC. But during the Coalition era of 2010, the measures of austerity were implemented to revive the economy form the nightmare. The obligation to the UNCRC forced the government to implement Child Poverty Act 2010. But with austerity measures taking the the act was revoked and presently the situation of UK with respect to UNCRC is bad.
Figure 1: Target of child poverty act and the expected trend
The expectation set after the commencement of the Act is far to reach given the present level of austerity practiced in the nation. The safeguard provided by the law being revoked, it is expected that the relative child poverty will increase from 18.8% in the 2014\2015 to 26.6% in 2020\2021. From this given state, it is evident that in the ground of application of austerity and child poverty and subsequent protection and promotion of child right UNCRC has not been successful in the UK.
Children right: Policy challenges
In the children right there are some of the policy challenges as well as for the betterment of children. In the legal aid as well as access the justice there was a plan that was undertaken by the coalition. In the Parliament, the legal aid was considered the reform of the part of the legislative scrutiny. There were two conservatives’ inquiries about the implications of the access of the proposal of Government and the second is that there is an impact on the children residence for the legal aid. In the year 2012, the LASPO act came in force for the betterment of children welfare. The main aim of the cat is to cut around 350 million from the 2.1 billion legal aid budget from the UK. In addition to that, the legal service commission has the responsibility for the administrative legal system in terms of moving towards Lord Chancellor. The child right framework has involved the time passes by as well as there is a slow changing of the policy framework.
The UNCRC is referred vas the thought process for the rights of childhood. In the historical perspective, there are various important things such as the declaration of the children's entitlement to the emergency assistance. In section 2 of UNCRC, there is interdependent of the progress for understanding the poverty as the child development. The mainstream aid, as well as the development of policies, is required to be incorporated with the undemanding of the childhood behaviors as well as the outside development of policies. Moreover, at the time of economic crisis, there is a proven impact on the children at the time of malnutrition, child labour and so on. In the financial crisis, the child right policy can face some challenges because then at that point in time it might get difficult for providing the same amount of care. The social protection is found to be an important component of the poverty reduction strategies as well as an effort for reducing the vulnerability to stress. The children protection is increasing to a great extent as well as important for the poverty reduction strategies.
Figure 2: Policy Framework of children's right policy
Children devolution and right
In the Parliamentary sector, it is increasing the implications for the UK's child right for the devolution. The implementation of UNCRC was done in the four countries of UK. The rights of children are reflected in UNCRC as well as there are a huge number of various policy areas those are developed as well as being responsible from the UK Governmental areas. The UK Government is wholly responsible for the implementation of any human rights treaties as well as the Human right act has also some duties that have been ratified in terms of the development of government.
In the children right and devolution, there is some patchwork which leads towards the duties and responsibilities that sometimes overlap as well as there can be seen an inevitability of the gaps in the human rights protection. In the children right there is a requirement of the proper communication with the children to have protected them properly. There is an awareness of the complexity as well as devolution that is evolving in the Parliament. The devolved Commissioners, as well as English Commissioners, have a correspondence with the situation of the worse condition. There is a responsibility in terms of implementing the UNCRC falls those are within the policy areas in the Children's Commissioners for England.
The factors influenced by UNCRC in children’s right in the UK
The UNCRC is a stable body under the jurisdiction and is significant for playing a key role in improving not only a limited aspect of Children’s right but also aspects like, educational, political, socio-cultural and civil rights. The United Nations Conventions Rights of children have been sharing a standard rapport with the United Kingdom, for many years. The UNCRC has recently retouched aspects such as, the 1844 factory Act. Some of the articles like, Article 1 and 2 promotes the rights of the children for education mainly and enforces the halting of child labor. The child labour act was passed in the United Kingdom, in the 19th century, which restricted children from working in mines, factories and working at heavy duty organizations, especially.
The child labour in the United Kingdom has been carried out at a high rate, in early times. The notion of child labour is especially, children working under the age of 13 has been decreased and more or less ceased. The UK is run as per the governor and the parliament has been taking strict measures against child usage. One of the strongest weapons of the UK jurisdiction is the UNCRC and shares a stable platform to enforce more laws in order to improve the benefits related to children. There are many experts and leaders encouraging the new approach of enforcing children rights, as it was one of the most important perceptions that the Nation required.
Freedom to express (Article 31) emphasized by UNCRC
Moreover, the Article 31 has been highly emphasized on by the United Nations Conventions Rights of children, which depicts the freedom to express. This particular factor has been pressurized on by the authority mostly between the years 2012 to 2015, due to instability in the particular area, as gathered via researches and surveys from established institutions of the Nation. The UNCRC not only worked for the children in particularization but also stimulated and influenced the people surrounding the children, such as family, teachers and other elders.
A refocused perception to child labour in UK
The United Kingdom is not known for child usage in factories or other industries anymore, in the recent years. It is a developed country with a polished legal system, even though the UNCRC has brought the factor into light again with a supporting Act of child equality. In explanation, the UNCRC proved child equality and child labor is interlinked in way. In evidence, the labouring of children is highly restricted by the UNCRC by setting right expectations, irrespective of race, class and cast. The law states, that a child belonging in the United Kingdom shall possess similar rights to education, achieving any kind of academic and athletic accomplishment, along with a bright future.
The remarkable approach of the protocol of child involvement of children in armed forces made optional
Some of the renowned social bodies enforcing the betterment of human rights in the UK, such as the UNICEF, UNCRC, WHO and more have expanded on the betterment of social welfare and have set advanced laws and limitations to human right exploitation. One of the eminent records of the UNCRC has included protocols of optional involvement of children under the age of 18 into armed disputes. The protocol firmly states, that a child cannot be forced by family members, institutions or anybody under which the child is entitled to. This has proven to provide better options to the children from a poorer background or the families of children immigrants, to move forward with a equal approach with the regular group of children in UK.
UNCRC promoting and protecting the children right
The country’s jurisdictional authorities have always been uncompromising about providing children with basic needs. The laws like, the child protection Act, have cut short on many illegal or wrong doings on children. Previous research states that, UK is not one of the highest rated nations on child exploitation but there still have been disputes, legal affairs on the raising of a child. In these kinds of legal disputes the child is not alone attached but mainly the family members. Violation of this act has been done, previously to some extent, as per surveys, by the families in the rural parts of the nation, immigrant families unable to cope with the country standards and children under poverty.
The promoting and protecting children’s right by UNCRC is mainly monitored by the separate team of children right group in the organization. Though, most of the eminent decision making is controlled by the Board of directors and managing Trustees. The UNCRC has been promoting valuable training programmes for children, in order to reach them and educate them about their own rights, especially to the children who are deprived. One of the largest children welfare associations of UK, the NSPCC, has been acting as a support for dealing with the sensitivity and basic needs of certain children that is categorized under promoting and protecting child rights.
The protection on the age of criminal responsibility in UK
The UNCRC deals with more sensitive and delicate issues arising in a child’s life, unlike the necessities. A child committing criminal offences on a particular matter is supposed to be considered by the court and higher authorities. The minimum age, of responsibility has been narrowed down to 10 years, irrespective of the offence committed by the child.
Restrictions against child trafficking and abuse
Though there are existing laws, in the United kingdom for violence against children and the approach is mainly made b y the governmental authority, organizations like the UNICEF have contributed to promote the halting of human violence and trafficking. Similarly, in the year between 2010 to 2014, the UNCRC brought into attention several aspects that protect children from unauthorized or sudden adaption, selling of children, harassment or abuse of children.
The key role of family and neighbourhood for child right protection
One of the most eminent measures taken by the UNCRC and received appraisals from young mothers and women new to the world of motherhood, is involving the neighborhood, family and institution making responsible, as a whole, for the well being of the children in UK. Reports related to child right states that 70% of the children leading a normalized life, often undergoes issues, like parental conflicts, lack of mental and social security, children raised by single parents and even more. This particular regulation acts as a securing shield to such rights of children.
The UNCRC protects children right not only in the above covered criteria but also worked for other promotion or other rights like the protection of child right relation to education, physical security and even more.
State of children in UK in terms of right
The nation has been in the state of constant improvements since the 19th century, in case of entitlement and rights of children. The focus on the United Nations declaration of the Rights of children, 1992 have established modifications and changes in the occurrence and happenings in the past years. The UNCRC perceives children in terms of several categories and enforces beneficial acts as per their basic and extended needs.
As per child right reports, approximately 8% of the schools and institutions states that children are still inclined to uncomforting and mental as well as social insecurity to some extent. The social organizations working for children welfare gathered that, a large percentage of children have been introduced to the advanced sets of right and protection acts. The children from the age group of 10 to 16 are being encouraged by the beneficial factors of laws.
In observation, the equality and human rights commission(EHRC) states that, there are parts of the United Kingdom, where only 30.5% of the children from a needy family is well attended and education and approximately 25% are still harassed or bullied in schools and institutions. The children from a regular background are receiving valuable education, counseling and being provided with a better approach in terms of career. At the same time, the children from a different background or coming from parted families and poorer families are being treated with similar facilitations, due to the introduction and enforcement of certain effective measures by the UNCERC.
As per the differences in researches in the previous years, starting and commencing from 2008 to 2014, the results show rapid improvement in child welfare, in the overall nation. Among all the parts, Ireland and Wales have been highly influenced by the justifications modified by the UK government and contributions made by the United Nations Conventions Rights of children. The Welsh assembly government focused on policy reviews, related to children's rights, which have encouraged children from the age group of 1-25 to receive intact education. The institutions have been adapting advanced measures of fundraising, for the wellbeing of children. The children of the United Kingdom, as a whole, are immensely supported by several organizations which have made the efficiency in the educational sector much more efficient. Some of the report evaluation, shows, that children are constantly excelling in the areas of special language and English. An improvement of increase in academic evaluation of 40% has been notified. Additionally, the performance rate of students in institutions have increased, which is a result of the better care taken in aspect of the mental and social well being of the children, as performance and mental factors are directly proportional at certain age groups.
Figure 3: Basic representation of pupils eligible for educational facilities in UK
Impact of different legislation of UK on the rights of the children
The above discussed acts and rights set for child right are considered by the government of of the United Kingdom and government, under some necessary legislation or legal conditions. The contributions of social bodies like the NPCC, UNCRC and UNICEF are large to some extent. The government of UK mostly focused on decision making of children right based on equality of children. Specifically, all the rights must be equal for all children dwelling in the nation. There are a number of legislations in this subject, which are broadly categorized under different circumstances and further sub categorized. Some of the eminent legislations or legal conditions are included in this part, on which the UNCRC has made an influence and benefited the nation as a whole.
Legislation of protecting children from elders who are considered unsafe
Under this particular legislation, the outer forces take care of the child, if the child is undergoing any mental tormenting or physical torture from home environment. The parents require being appropriate and possessing some qualities of standard parenting, under the law. If the child is exposed under any unsafe environment, conflict or danger irrespective of parental care of institutions, the legal authority takes action against such deeds. Some of the blazing examples of acts under this legislation are the female genital mutilation Act 2003, Violence and offences act 2003 and the children Act 1989.
There are effective measures taken by the UNCRC, in such cases, along with the jurisdiction, the organization have contributed on a large percentage of children welfare in the recent five years. Moreover, the introduction of different kind of legislations has refined the direct acts against child violence even more. The domestic violence, victims and crime (Amendment) 2012, undertakes the situation of any physical harm on children and other disputes. The decreased rate of child torture, deprivation, discrimination and harassment have lowered by a large percentage, according to the reports of Munro review of child protection, benefitting a number of children as well as their families. The MRCP have also encouraged formation of child care centres and clinics. The specific factor have not only improved the confined area surrounding children right in UK but also improved the legal system of the country as a whole, spreading awareness to the predictable upcoming threats and risks to children, from all parts of the country.
Critically evaluating the extent of UNCRC
There are many legislations and acts discussed above, in the case study, which ultimately depicts the amount of influence of the laws set by the government of the United Kingdom and the contribution of UNCRC and the impact created on the rights of children in the entire country. An explained analysis or evaluation of the entire enforcement shall bring up the pros and cons of the significance of decision making. Report states, that, it is not necessary that the laws and legislations of children right have covered all rights. In evidence, the minimum of maximum age of a babysitter, the expectations of children from parental care and at which age the responsibilities should be improvised.
On the other hand, the forced marriage act (civil protection) and protection of violence have been safeguarding the exposure of children to adults who depicts risk child life. There are many evidences that are still in process and highly controversial in terms of child safety.
Since the children are exposed to comparably more danger at a certain age group, which is mostly 6 to 14 and are incapable of making eminent decisions in life, the acts under Article 13 have also been highlighted by the UNCRC, to bring out the suitable interests of children in terms of education and academic sections. A large amount of students faced academic pressure, family issues and complications in the procedure of growth that influenced them negatively. The rights of the children have also benefited the families of the children and especially the immigrants, often deprived from essential benefits, care and facilities, in the United Kingdom. The implementation of the legislations have helped in improving the mental state and benefited them financially as well. In contrary, there are always a set of loop holes left, as the country comprises a large number of diversified children and coping up with covering all aspects of children right and reaching the predicted target of perfection shall be time consuming.
As learned from the above study, the laws set and improved for children right in the United Kingdom is a vast area that is covered and brushed by a number of communities, social welfare organizations, legal bodies and more. The rights cover a broad aspect, such as right to survival and development, right to non-discrimination, right to be heard and so on. The above case study have mainly focused on a set of rights of children, that children are sensitive to and have basic requirements. The united kingdom, have surpassed most of the assumptions of meeting child right improvements but as mentioned before, not all criteria can be met when it comes to focusing children covering each area. The most important right influencing all other rights is the non-discrimination right and child equality Act that has kept the conditions similar for children belonging to any part of the nation and even an immigrant struggling for a better future in the country.
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