A recent Guardian article has reported a very steep rise in child labour, slavery and exploitation.
In 2017, more than 5,000 potential victims of slavery and exploitation were reported to the UK authorities. This was the highest number ever reported in a single year in the UK.
Of these 5,000 potential victims, a staggering 41% of those reported were children under the age of 18. Most of these reports were connected to suspected drug trafficking or child sexual exploitation. Other reports included suspected forced labour and even suspected organ harvesting.
Victoria Atkins, the minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, said, “We know there is more to do, and we are working to improve the system for identifying victims and supporting them to leave situations of exploitation and begin to recover and rebuild their lives.”
It is believed that the NCA’s wide reaching campaign against modern slavery and an increased public awareness of the signs of modern slavery have resulted in more people coming forward to the authorities with their suspicions.
Anyone who suspects that a child is a potential victim of child labour, exploitation or modern slavery is encouraged to make a report to http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/.
Forced marriage of children is a huge problem across the world and even within the UK.
The International Research Centre on Womens’ Rights has estimated that 33% of girls in the developing world are married before the the age of 18. Child marriage is most common in Sub-Saharan and Western Africa as well as Asia.
Child marriage creates many problems. It removes girls from their homes, families and communities at a young age. This can leave them in a vulnerable position and at risk of harm and abuse. It can also interupt their schooling and reduces their ability to enter the workforce. The effects of child marriage can be devastating for boys as well as girls.
UK law, and international law, makes it very clear that forced marriage of children is a fundemental restriction of their human rights. Article 16(2) of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) stipulates that: Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
At such a young age, it is impossible for children to consent to a marriage.
UNICEF have also reported that marriage of children is most prevalent within the most deprived communities.
Astoundingly, child marriage occurs within the UK. The UK Government set up the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) to tackle these issues and help to protect children. Legislation has also been brought into force to help prevent forced marriages of vulnerable people, known as Forced Marrriage Protection Orders.
Anyone effected by these issues can contact a family or child rights lawyer for assistance.
Child Rights Net brings you the latest legal news and updates on how children’s rights are being protected in law across the world. We also provide commentary on women and mother’s rights.
All human rights apply to children as they would to adults, but special legislation has been created to protect the rights of children. The foundation stone of children’s rights throughout the world is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is also known as the UNCRC. This is an international charter that sets out the human rights that every child must have protected in law. To date, 194 countries have signed up to the UNCRC, making it one of the most ratified conventions in the world.
There are many organisations which work to facilitate the rights set out in the UNCRC. These include governmental organisations such as UNICEF and NGOs such as Save the Children and Child Rights International Network (CRIN). These bodies work to promote children’s rights, research the application of children’s rights and improve the living conditions of children and mothers throughout the world.
We will be bringing you news and updates on the work of these organisations and on how children and mothers’ rights are being applied in countries throughout the world.