Manifesto commitment to child rights ahead of General Election

Date: 31st May 2017
Category: General measures of implementation

The main political parties in the UK have now launched their manifestos ahead of the upcoming general election on the 8th June 2017.

Some have made explicit commitments to children's rights.

After Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election to take place on the 8th June 2017, each political party has put forward a manifesto which outlines their priorities in terms of policy and spending. Concerns have previously been raised by children's rights organisations regarding the lack of commitment to children's rights from UK political parties and the failure to involve children and young people in political decisions, particularly following the Brexit referendum which took place last year. Despite the result of the 2016 referendum having a huge impact on children and young people, neither the Leave nor Remain camp articulated how they would attempt to retain or enhance the children's rights protections that the EU offers.

Ahead of the publication of party manifestos, Together worked alongside the Child Rights Alliance England (CRAE) and the Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group to urge UK political parties to put children's rights at the centre of their manifestos for the UK General Election. These letters are available to read below.

The manifestos released ahead of the 2017 general election vary in terms of their commitment to children's rights. However, many parties have taken this opportunity to positively address children's rights and confirm their commitment to furthering child's rights in the UK.

Liberal Democrat Manifesto

Together welcomes the Liberal Democrats manifesto commitment to 'enshrine the UNCRC in UK law' following our joint letter with partner organisations.

Labour Party Manifesto

The Labour Party manifesto also sets out a commitment to 'enshrining the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law.'

Green Party Manifesto

Other political parties have also used their manifestos to make positive commitments to human rights. Following Together's joint letter with partners CRAE and Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group, the Green Party have committed to defending the Human Rights Act and the UK membership of the ECHR.

SNP Manifesto

The SNP make similar commitments in their manifesto by stating that they will oppose any attempts by the UK Government to scrap the Human Rights Act or withdraw from the ECHR.

Plaid Cymru Manifesto

Plaid Cymru outline their plans in their 2017 Action Plan to publish a human rights charter for Wales and to guarantee the rights of Europeans living and working in Wales.

Conservative Party Manifesto

The Conservative Party make limited references to human rights in their manifesto. They pledge to repeal or replace the Human Rights Act only after the Brexit process is complete. They commit to remaining signatories of the ECHR only for the duration of the next Parliament, and they state that they will not bring the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law.

Together will continue to scrutinise the manifesto commitments of political parties post-election to ensure that the winning party follows up on any commitments they made to children's rights and that the rights of children and young people in the UK are protected following Brexit.