New report suggests children still suffering from pandemic’s impact

A new report outlining the state of children’s rights in Britain has urged the United Nations to review areas of concern.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report outlines the state of children’s rights in Britain and forms part of the UN’s system for monitoring the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This was a treaty the UK signed in 1991.

The EHRC report urges the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to review areas of concern. 

This includes the lost learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with recommendations made to the UK and Welsh governments. Governments have also been recommended to address data gaps, particularly in Wales.

The report also highlights the importance of tackling online abuse of children. 

An estimated four in ten children are exposed to online abuse, with children having spent even more time online during the pandemic.

The EHRC has called on the UK government to ensure children a protected from harassment and abuse online through the ‘Online Safety Bill’ currently in Parliament, while preserving their rights to accessible information and digital connectivity.

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chairwoman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

“Children deserve to flourish and live their lives to the full. The International Day of Education is a time to celebrate their potential.

“Unfortunately, our report to the UN shows that too many children in Britain are still suffering the impact of the pandemic, including through lost learning opportunities, and that existing inequalities have been made worse. 

“They are also increasingly at risk of abuse or harassment online.

“Poor mental health disrupted education and online abuse are all issues the UK and Welsh governments must address to ensure our children’s rights remain protected. 

“Upholding the UK’s treaty commitments to the rights of the child will empower the next generation to build the better future for Britain that we all want to see.”

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