UNICEF UK welcomes the action for children in the Queen's speech. However, we are disappointed the Government did not go further for the poorest children and families.
We are pleased the Children and Families Bill will increase the independence and rights focus of the Children’s Commissioner for England but it should go further and place duties on Ministers and public authorities to consider the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in all matters affecting children.
UNICEF UK is disappointed the Government did not do more for the poorest children and families. The Government must not pursue deficit reduction at the expense of the most vulnerable children in the UK.
It is very positive that the Queen's speech repeated the promise to give 0.7% of national income in international aid by 2013. Thanks to aid, four million fewer children will die this year and 33 million children are now going to school. Nevertheless, the Government missed the opportunity to keep its word to the world's poorest children by putting the 0.7% aid commitment into law. It must do so as soon as possible.
UNICEF UK looks forward to seeing all Government bills being checked against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as promised by the Children's Minister Sarah Teather in December 2010. Only by doing this can the UK Government ensure it is a champion for all children.