The UK ranks 170 out of 181 countries worldwide. This is 3 higher than last year. Although we do well in the Rights to Life, Health, Education and Protection, it’s the enabling environment for Child Rights that we fall down on.
This indicates what we in the Alliance in London have been working with for the past 5 years. Children and their rights are not taken into account when considering matters of policy at all levels of government and in creating housing and social infrastructure. Children are being excluded from new developments or social groups separated and discriminated against. Their Right to Play is being eroded. The consequences are becoming increasingly obvious.
Next year, the Index must show a marked improvement if our children are to find a life worth living.
From the Report:
The CRC principle of the best interests of the child (article 3) ensures that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children, so that when decisions are taken about the child they reflect what will serve the child best. This occurs for example in cases where children are being separated from their parents or to migrant and refugee children. Judges and other professionals working for and with children should be trained on how the principle of the best interests of the child should be implemented better in judicial and administrative decisions and other interventions.
On taking the best interests of the child at heart, there is not a country in the world that scores high, while 54 (out of 160) countries score low, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. All over the world decisions are taken about children without considering their best interests adequately. Not only should the best interests of the child be a primary consideration when adults make decisions regarding children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and to have their opinions taken into account.
States should enact good quality enabling legislation for child rights and implement this legislation in all procedures. South Africa and the United Kingdom are examples of countries that still need to bring their domestic legislation yet more in line with the CRC.