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Children: UN Convention

Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether children’s rights’ impact assessments are regularly conducted in order to evaluate whether the allocation of budgets is proportionate to the realisation of children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. [HL5372]

The Government’s programme to support policies for children and young people is set out in the Children’s Plan and reiterated in the Children’s plan: one year on which was published in December 2008. This is underpinned by the general principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child—UNCRC—and identifies where Government are taking forward the UN committee’s concluding observations.

In delivering our Children’s Plan commitments through policy and legislation, impact assessments on new policies are undertaken to consider the impact on costs and benefits, including impact on gender, disability or ethnicity. In addition, the cross-government clearance process for all new policy and legislation allows the Department for Children, Schools and Families to consider the likely impact on children and young people.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for systematic training on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for the children's workforce and all employees who work for and with children, including law enforcement officials, immigration officials and the media. [HL5373]

Training related to human rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child—UNCRC—is available for a wide range of professionals working with children. The Children's Workforce Development Council—CWDC—has a remit to ensure that those who work directly with children and young people have the best possible training, qualifications and support, covering about 500,000 workers, including early years and childcare, education welfare and social care for children and young people. The CWDC has adopted the convention in its entirety to underpin its work.

The UK Border Agency has in place a programme of training for immigration officials. Officials are required to undertake e-learning training module which raises their awareness of child protection and welfare issues and which relates these issues to their work. Immigration, nationality and border control officials who deal with applications involving children receive training which deals in depth with children's safeguarding and welfare. Specialised training is provided for those officials whose work involves activities such as interviewing children, escorting children and immigration law enforcement work with children and families.

The Government have placed in the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 a requirement for the UK Border Agency to make arrangements to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in carrying out its functions. Where it is necessary, training material and courses are being revised to take account of this new duty which comes into effect later this year.

The Government support initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the UNCRC, such as the development of a curriculum resource for teachers on the UNCRC to be used with key stage 3 pupils. The Right Respecting School Award—RRSA—pilot in some schools aims to provide teachers and children with an understanding of children's rights by aligning the principles of the UNCRC closely to everyday life in the classroom and school.