New report looks at the impact of counter-terrorism measures on children’s rights

Date: 7th April 2022
Category: Civil Rights and Freedoms

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The ‘Prevent Strategy’ is the part of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy aimed at preventing individuals “becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.” However, civil society expresses deep concerns and widespread criticism of the strategy as it targets children disproportionately, interfering with their right to privacy and to freedom of expression, religion and assembly.

The report highlights that an average of 3,000 children are formally referred to the programme every year. It disproportionately targets Muslim children, children of Asian ethnicity, and children with mental health problems, infringing their right to non-discrimination. In addition, it fails to safeguard children’s best interests as the programme draws children who are not accused of committing any offence into contact with police unnecessarily. There is also a persistent lack of transparency regarding the kinds of children’s data collected under Prevent Strategy. Specifically, who holds it, with whom it is shared, and the period of its retention.