We have responded to the government’s legislative agenda – as set out in the Queen’s Speech - and its impact on children. Our Chief Executive Matthew Reed said:
'The government today set out its agenda on immigration and anti-social behaviour - but we have strong concerns that the impact on children is being ignored.
'We heard that reform of the immigration system is to ‘deter those that won’t contribute', including foreign criminals. But we are in danger of overlooking the fact that these rules will also apply to children, many of who will be fleeing danger or have been trafficked to the UK against their will.
Risk of destitution
'We already work with far too many children experiencing homelessness and destitution because of immigration restrictions on access to essential support and services. If these changes further restrict access to vital services, the risk of destitution, homelessness, exploitation and abuse can only increase.
'The changes announced to tackle anti-social behaviour risk repeating ineffective measures taken in the past. Without a stronger emphasis on restorative justice, measures could be a sticking plaster failing to tackle the underlying causes of anti-social behaviour – and well as potentially pulling more children into the criminal justice system.
'We'd also like to see the rights of young carers addressed in the Care Bill, so that children who provide care for a parent or sibling have the same rights as adult carers. We also eagerly await more detail on the government’s announcement on childcare, as affordable childcare is key to reducing child poverty.'
For more information call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4423 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.