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Children

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what discussions on age discrimination against children and young people in the provision of goods, facilities and services Ministers and officials in the Government Equalities Office have held with (a) non-governmental organisations and (b) UK children’s commissioners since 2005. (221125)

The Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007. Prior to this date the Discrimination Law Review Project was the responsibility of the women and equality unit in the Department of Communities and Local Government. Since 2005, Ministers for women and equality have met the Children’s Rights Alliance for England on two occasions; one of those meetings was attended by a group of young people. In late 2006, the women and equality unit hosted a roundtable discussion on children and young people, which was attended by non-governmental organisations and the children’s commissioners for England and Scotland. During the consultation period for the Equality Bill, the Children’s Rights Alliance for England organised a consultation event on behalf of the women and equality unit. Officials also met the Children’s Rights Alliance for England in August 2007 and the children’s commissioners for England and Scotland in March 2008.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what written representations concerning age discrimination against children and young people in the provision of goods, facilities and services Ministers and officials in the Government Equalities Office have received from (a) non-governmental organisations, (b) UK Children’s Commissioners and (c) members of the public since 2005. (221126)

The consultation paper on proposals for the Equality Bill, “A Framework for Fairness”, signalled that the Government was considering the case for prohibiting age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services and for a single public sector duty extended to cover age. Over 4,000 organisations and individuals responded to the consultation, of which over 700 addressed the issue of prohibiting age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services and over 50 of these responded specifically on the issue of children. The list of organisations that responded to the consultation is available on the Government Equalities Office website.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many refuges for women and children have a dedicated indoor play area for children. (221654)

The Government do not hold information centrally on the number of refuges for women and children which have a dedicated indoor play area for children.

Decisions about the provision of refuge spaces and what these should contain are a matter for local authorities, but we would expect them to build services based on the needs of their communities.