Legal aid vote puts vulnerable children at greater risk

10 July 2014

Following the House of Commons’ vote on the government's proposed regulations to introduce a residence test to qualify for legal aid –
 
Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'By voting to restrict legal aid only to people who have a "strong connection" with the UK undermines the government’s commitment to protect victims of trafficking under the Modern Slavery Bill. 
 
'Many of the most vulnerable children – including those trafficked into a range of abuse – will be prevented from challenging damaging decisions that determine their fate, putting them at risk of further exploitation. 
 
'Legal aid is critical to protecting children’s rights. It is vital the government abandons its damaging plans to introduce a residence test for civil legal aid and put children’s welfare and rights first.'
 
Ends

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For more information, please contact Beth Herzfeld in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or 07775 812 357 or email beth.herzfeld@childrenssociety.org.uk  For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors: