Posted: 12 July 2016

What is the Joint Committee on Human Rights?

The Joint Committee on Human Rights is a group of cross party MPs and Lords who come together to consider human rights issues in the UK.

The Committee scrutinises all Government Bills, looking specifically at those with significant human rights implications – such as the Policing and Crime Bill.

As part of the Seriously Awkward campaign, we’ve been calling on the Government to change the Policing and Crime Bill so it includes better protections and support for vulnerable older teenagers.

Protecting the rights of all children

The UN convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is really clear on this.

Article 1 recognises someone as being a child until the age of 18.

Article 34 says that governments must protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation.

Under Article 39 of the UNCRC, children and young people who have been victims of abuse and neglect should be provided physical and psychological help to recover from their trauma.

Our research has shown that 16 and 17 year olds are more likely to be recorded as ‘children in need’ because of abuse and neglect than any other age group.

However, they currently do not get the same level of legal protection as children under 16.

We believe this is a clear breach of their rights as children.

Now, we want the Joint Committee on Human Rights to closely examine the opportunities in the Bill to improve measures to better protect vulnerable children under the age of 18.

We’ve already submitted evidence to the Committee, but we also want to show them how many people care about this issue.

This is how you can help.

Tell us why vulnerable older teenager’s rights should stop being ignored.

We’ll collate your views and submit them to the Committee. This will help us make the case that they need to stop ignoring the rights of this highly vulnerable group – leaving them unprotected from exploitation.

Add your voice 

By Andy Soar
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