Our members respond to the John Dunford Review

Date: 6th December 2010
Category: General measures of implementation, Civil Rights and Freedoms

The review by Dr John Dunford into the role of the Children's Commissioner for England has concluded that there is a need for the office in today's society but with a stronger role to promote children's rights.

This, says the report, will help the Government to meet its commitment to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Ministers have accepted John Dunford's recommendations in principle and will consult in due course on legislative changes.

The report finds that the current model is flawed and consequently the overall impact of the Children's Commissioner has been disappointing. Dr Dunford attributes this mainly to the current limited remit of the Commissioner, which refers to children's views and interests rather than their rights.


Save the Children response
Douglas Hamilton, Head of Scotland for Save the Children said:

"Save the Children very much welcomes the conclusions of John Dunford's review of the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England. In particular the recommendations that the Commissioner works to protect and promote children's rights and has greater independence from Government will ensure that the Office will have a much greater impact on the lives of children and young people in England.

A rights-based Commissioner for England's children is long overdue and we urge the Government to act with urgency to implement the recommendations set out in this report."

UNICEF response
Anita Tiessen, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF UK said:

"We are delighted that the Government will be taking steps to ensure that the rights of England's children and young people are promoted and protected by a strong and independent Commissioner which is in line with international standards.

"We are pleased that the recommendations refer to and are partly based on the work of UNICEF UK's Rights Respecting Schools Award scheme which shows that helping children to understand their rights leads to respect for the rights of others."