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Children’s Commissioner calls for protection of children’s rights post-Brexit

Ministers asked to reconsider withdrawal from EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights

The Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield OBE, has raised concerns about the protection of children's rights in the wake of the government's decision to take the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights out of British law after Brexit. In a recent blog she notes that the House of Lords has voted to overturn the plan and shortly MPs will have the opportunity to decide whether to back the decision.

The Children's Commissioner writes:

"Under Article 24 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, children have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. Their views must be taken into account on matters concerning them and their best interest must be a primary consideration in any action taken relating to them."

She adds:

"I believe there is a risk that losing these important children's rights could have a detrimental effect on some children's lives in the future. We know from the recent legal controversies surrounding the tragic life of Alfie Evans that the fundamental need for a child's best interests to be a primary consideration is an important principle that can affect a child's life. This must be protected."

The Children's Commissioner concludes:

"The Government's recent defeat in the Lords now gives Ministers the opportunity to stop, think, and ask themselves a very simple question: do we want to be remembered as a Government that took away rights from children? I hope Ministers will conclude that they do not."

For the blog piece, click here.