UN report on children in the UK

The UK has duly been examined by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and their concluding observations are here. (pdf)

As we expected, they have majored on the treatment of asylum-seeking children, children in custody and our unacceptably low age of criminal responsibility. They have also given the government a sharp rebuke about ASBOs and their failure to control the use of ‘mosquitoes’ – the devices that emit a high-pitched scream, used to drive children out of public spaces.

It’s good to see privacy rights featuring in their report for the first time, as follows:

Protection of privacy
36. The Committee is concerned that:
a) DNA data regarding children is kept in the National DNA Database irrespective of whether the child is ultimately charged or found guilty;
b) the State party has not taken sufficient measures to protect children, notably those subject to ASBOs, from negative media representation and public “naming and shaming”;
c) children’s appearance in TV reality show may constitute an unlawful interference with their privacy.

37. The Committee recommends that the State party:
a) ensure, both in legislation and in practice, that children are protected against unlawful or arbitrary interference with their privacy, including by introducing stronger regulations for data protection;
b) intensify its efforts, in cooperation with the media, to respect the privacy of children in the media, especially by avoiding messages publicly exposing them to shame, which is against the best interests of the child;
c) regulate children’s participation in TV programs, notably reality shows, as to ensure that they do not violate their rights.

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