Today my right honourable friend the Minister for Children, Young People and Families (Beverley Hughes) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
On 3 October 2008, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child published its concluding observations on the United Kingdom’s report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Publication of the concluding observations follows the submission of the UK Government’s written report to the committee in July 2007 and an oral hearing with the committee on 23 and 24 September 2008.
The United Kingdom’s delegation entered into a frank and open discussion with the committee. This was recognised both in the committee’s closing remarks at the oral hearing and in the concluding observations. I am pleased that the committee has also recognised the significant progress we have made in the implementation of the convention and the emphasis we have placed on improving the well-being of children and young people.
I broadly welcome the concluding observations and, while areas of difference with the committee remain, we will give the committee’s recommendations the careful consideration they deserve. This process will include a dialogue with non-governmental organisations and the four United Kingdom Children’s Commissioners. Our Children’s Plan, published in December 2007, sets out our ambitions and strategies to tackle many of the issues the UN committee has highlighted. Later this year we will report on progress against the commitments made in the Children’s Plan.