UK Government gives update on its human rights record

Date: 28th January 2021
Category: Reporting to and monitoring the UNCRC, Other human rights treaties and mechanisms

drawing of someone writing on a stack of paper

The UK Government has published its mid-term report as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The report sets out  what progress the UK has made towards recommendations received in 2017. It includes information provided by Scottish Government.

The UPR is a process through which countries assess each other’s human rights records. Countries say what they have done to improve their own human rights situation as well as make recommendations to other nations on how they should improve their human rights records.

In 2017, the UK received 227 recommendations from other nations. Many of these related to children’s human rights. The mid-term report gives an update on these as follows:

  • Recommendation to ratify the Third Optional Protocol to the UNCRC: the UK says it has not ratified the Optional Protocol as it believes domestic law already provides a route to an effective remedy through the UK courts.
  • Ratify the Lanzarote Convention: the UK successfully ratified this Convention in June 2018.
  • Establish effective coordination and monitoring structures for UNCRC implementation at national and local level: The UK Government says it has made no plans to introduce a centralised mechanism to coordinate the implementation of the UNCRC across the UK, reasoning that this would raise constitutional issues in relation to devolved matters. Nonetheless, in Scotland the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill seeks to incorporate the Convention into Scots law to the maximum extent.
  • Provide more targeted social policies to help disadvantaged children and families: Looking at Scotland in particular, the report states the sets out means to help boost household incomes, reduce costs and mitigate the impacts of poverty for children in line with targets set through the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017.

Read the mid-term report in full here.