Call to Action to Protect the Rights and Needs of Care-Experienced Children and Young People During the Covid-19 Response

Originally published by Just for Kids Law on 26/03/2020

Summary

Along with the National Youth Advocacy Service and a group of care-experienced people and leaders of charities and organizations working with care-experienced children and young people across England, Just for Kids Law and Children’s Rights Alliance for England wrote to the Education Secretary, The Rt Hon. Gavin Williamson MP, and Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families setting out our concerns about care-experienced children during this period. The full letter sets out their concerns and requests, as addressed to the Secretary for State. (30 March 2020)

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Coronavirus Bill – Second Reading (House of Commons) briefing, 23 March 2020

Originally published by Article 39 on 22/03/2020

Summary

Article 39 is a UK based charity advocating for the rights of children living in state and privately-run institutions (children’s homes, boarding and residential schools, mental health inpatient units, prisons and immigration detention). The organization takes its name from Article 39 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which entitles children who have suffered rights violations to recover in environments where their health, self-respect and dignity are nurtured. Article 39 understands that the Government must take all necessary action to protect our population at this time of crisis. However, in their view, the state must continue to do all it can to provide care and support to vulnerable children and their families. It considers the removal of local authority duties in the Coronavirus Bill to be disproportionate, and this has the potential to cause great harm to those who are least able to cope. This Brief sets out three proposed amendments to the Coronavirus bill, adding further safeguards and protections for children.

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(UK), Just for Kids Law, Corona-Virus – Children in Police Custody (ENG)

Originally published by Just for Kids Law on 22/03/2020

Summary

Just for Kids Law, Children’s Rights Alliance for England and the Youth Justice Legal Centre wrote to the Home Office setting out their concerns about children coming into contact with the police during this period. In their letter, Just for Kids Law express concern about the safety of children and young people who may be exposed to COVID-19 as a result of arrest or detention. In their letter they urge the Home Office to issue immediate guidance to the police asking them to refrain from arresting children and exposing them to greater risk of contracting COVID-19, unless absolutely necessary. Arrest should only be used as an absolute last resort, they argue, in relation to only the most serious crimes and maintaining public order, in line with the Government Coronavirus action plan.

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