UK children’s advocates propose amendments to Brexit bill

Published on 06-09-2017 at 19:08

An alliance of UK children’s charities, including the Children’s Society, Children England, the NSPCC and Barnardo’s, have proposed key changes to the act of Parliament that will take the country out of the European Union. Adrian Voce reports.

A joint briefing paper has been produced by an alliance of UK children’s charities, to highlight the need to protect and promote the rights of children who will be affected by Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The Children’s Society, the National Children’s Bureau, Children England, Children’s Rights Alliance for England, Children in Scotland, Coram Children’s Legal Centre, NSPCC, Barnardo’s and ECPAT UK have together drawn up two proposed amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Children had no say in the EU referendum, but the result will have a profound impact on their lives, and the lives of future children and young people.

In their joint statement, the children’s advocacy bodies say:

‘Children had no say in the EU referendum, but the result will have a profound impact on their lives, and the lives of future children and young people. For this reason, it is critical that during the passage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, parliament considers the impact of the decision to leave the European Union on the rights, safety and welfare of children and young people and urges the Government to put the best interests of children first’.

Amendments

The briefing containing the proposed amendments addresses the key issues of children’s rights, child poverty and inequality, and the safeguarding of children affected by new cross-border mechanisms.

The group’s statement says that the government ‘has said on numerous occasions that the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is designed to ensure continuity’; implying that this should include continuity of rights for children. It says that its aims are “to ensure that the existing rights and protections children enjoy as members of the European Union continue as the UK exits the European Union”.

The specific proposed amendments to the ‘Brexit Bill’, says the group, ‘are designed to better ensure the protection and promotion of children’s rights, ensuring that cross-border mechanisms are in place to safeguard children, and ensuring adequate structural funding to address inequalities’

Adrian Voce

Photo: European Parliament

Read the group’s full briefing including the proposed amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill here

Author: Adrian Voce

President of the European Network for Child Friendly Cities

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