Does The English Child Protection System Enable Children And Young People To Exercise Their Rights Under The Un Convention On The Rights Of The Child. Discuss Critically With Reference To Current Legislation, Literature And Research

3125 words - 13 pages

*Does the English Child Protection System enable children and young people to exercise their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.* Discuss critically with reference to current legislation, literature and research.
The ‘United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)’ (UNCRC) is a human rights treaty designed specifically to cater to children and young people around the world. It was created because it was felt that already existing treaties, such as the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ (1948), did not cover a number of child-centric problems and therefore left holes in child protection systems around the world through which a number of children ...view middle of the document...

The English Child Protection System is an all encompassing term for the many different statutory agencies, legislative acts, formal documents and policies that have been put in place in this country in order to improve and protect the lives of the children and young people of the nation. The English Child Protection System has developed and grown over the last century, and is now larger and receives more funding than it ever has, and thusly it is claimed by many to be more effective than ever before. The four main statutory agencies that make up a huge part of the English Child Protection System are the police, the education system, social services and the health care system. All of these agencies have an equal responsibility in regards to protecting and improving the lives of the children and young people of the nation.
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As part of the English Child Protection System these agencies adopt a multi-agency approach in regards to protecting and safeguarding children and young people. It was identified in ‘The Children’s Act (1989)’ that a multi-agency approach was both necessary and crucial in order to improve the lives of young people, and to better identify cases of abuse or children that could potentially become victims of abuse. However due to a lack of proper training, funding and a multitude of other reasons, children have suffered because of the multi-agency approach. This has never been more prevalent than in the case of Victoria Climbie, an 8 year old girl who died after being violently abused by her aunt and her partner over a long period of time. In this case social services and health workers had a number of opportunities to intervene and ultimately missed a number of key warning signs that showed that Victoria was in grave danger. (Laming, 2003) After the Climbie case, and on Lord Laming’s recommendation, the government introduced ‘The Children Act (2004)’ with the aim of solidifying and strengthening child services, and improving communication between them; which is essential when adopting a multi-agency approach (Salmon, 2004).
However, in the recent high profile case of ‘Baby P’, we saw a similar situation to that of Climbie, where negligence and a lack of communication between authorities and different government agencies resulted in a child not receiving the protection they were entitled to under Article 6 of the UNCRC (Fresco, 2008). Article 6 says that all children have the right to life, and that it is the responsibility of the government to make sure that children survive and have a healthy development (United Nations, 1989). These are not the only cases in which the government, and the agencies and legislations designed to protect children from abuse, and give them the right to life, have failed them. It is clear to see that the government is attempting to make strides towards an improved system in regards to how ‘at risk’ children are assessed, but in a number of cases it has been shown that using...

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