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Children’s rights, views and interests not on the agenda of Parliament or the President, claims report

Date:30 JUL 2014
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Journals Manager + Online Editor
A study exploring the degree to which children and young people have a right to have their private lives kept private has been published today.

The report, Safeguarding, Privacy and Respect for Children and Young People and the Next Steps in Media Access to Family Courts, authored by Dr Julia Brophy with Kate Perry, Alison Prescott and Christine Renouf (in conjunction with NYAS and Association of Lawyers for Children) shows that a child’s safety and well-being during court processes and in the longer term are of the utmost importance.

The study suggests that Parliament should be given the opportunity to scrutinise proposals to increase media access and reporting of family cases. This is particularly important as the safeguards originally set out by Parliament have now been removed.

In the context of the views of young people, the proposals should also be subject to a proper public consultation exercise, accompanied by widespread publicity making it clear what is proposed, what children think to date, and helping all people to respond. The consultation should be undertaken in a timescale that reflects the gravity of the issues for children and it should actively seek ways to reach many audiences so that the views of other children are captured.

Young people said it does not appear that children’s rights, views and interests are clearly on the agenda of Parliament or the President of the Family Division.

An exclusive article by Dr Julia Brophy will be published in the October issue of Family Law. A further article by Dr Brophy outlining the proposed recommendations of the study will appear on familylaw.co.uk in the coming weeks.

The full report is available to download here.