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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and protecting children’s rights

Charities publish briefing calling for amendments to Withdrawal Bill

In advance of the second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill on 7 September 2017, a group of children's charities has called for an amendment to the Bill to ensure that children's rights are protected.

The charities say that withdrawal from the EU is the most fundamental constitutional change to the UK for a generation, and that it is critical that during the passage of the Withdrawal Bill, parliament considers the impact of the decision to leave the European Union on the rights, safety and welfare of children and young people and urges the Government to put the best interests of children first.

The charities consider that the Bill provides the opportunity to affirm the UK's role as a global leader and advocate for children's rights. While UK law currently lacks automatic protection of children's rights, this Bill provides an opportunity to ensure that current and future governments would have to hold children's rights in due regard in future policy and legislative matters. Whilst the Withdrawal Bill intends to bring existing EU legislation into UK law, without a renewed commitment to the fundamental rights of children, there is a risk that children's rights will be diluted or impinged as future governments look to correct and update the statue book in light of our departure from the EU.

A briefing, which is supported by a range of organisations representing hundreds of thousands of children and young people across the UK, proposes two key amendments for debate in later stages of the Bill:

To read the briefing, click here. For details of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, click here. For the first day's debate of the second reading  in the House of Commons, click here. The debate will resume on Monday, 11 September 2017.