Responding to the joint committee on human rights’ (JCHR) concerns about the government’s plans to restrict access to legal aid, Lily Caprani, Director of Strategy and Policy at The Children’s Society, said:
'The joint committee on human rights is right to be calling on the government to reconsider its proposed changes to legal aid.
'We are pleased the committee has listened to our concerns and welcome the recommendation to exempt all children from the planned residence test for civil legal aid. If implemented, the test would leave thousands of children unable to challenge damaging decisions which could determine their fate.
Unfair and inhumane
'The report does not, however, go far enough, as vulnerable young people over 18 will not be able to access justice. This means they will be unable to challenge unfair and inhumane treatment, including unlawful treatment by public authorities.
'The government must acknowledge the harm these changes will have for some of the most vulnerable young people and families in this country, and abandon, in full, proposals to introduce a residence test for legal aid.'
For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4419 or by email. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.
Notes to editors
- The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.