UNICEF welcomes British recognition of migrant children’s rights

23 September 2008

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today applauded the decision by the British Government to grant children seeking asylum, migrant children and those trafficked into the country the same rights as British children, including their right to education, health care and social services.

“The decision paves the way for vulnerable children who are subject to immigration control to enjoy the fundamental human rights spelled out in the Convention [on the Rights of the Child] for every child,” UNICEF said in a press release.

“The move, made over the weekend, signals the Government’s full commitment to supporting the children’s rights as laid out in the CRC,” the statement added.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was adopted in 1989, details the basic human rights for children and young people everywhere under the age of 18.

The British Government also removed its reservation to article 37(c) on children in custody, which stresses that incarcerated children should not lose their fundamental rights and that their treatment must take into account their age and development, ensuring that children are kept separate from adult prisoners.

At the same time the Government announced its intention to sign the CRC’s Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, further strengthening its support of the most vulnerable children.


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