Children and Young People Now magazine reported earlier today that it understands Ministers will back amendments to the Children and Social Work Bill, to delete the exemption clauses. This has now been confirmed: the Education Secretary Justice Greening has added her name to the Shadow Children’s Minister’s amendments to LEAVE OUT the exemption clauses (32-39).
Article 39 fought the clauses since the Bill was published at the end of May 2016. With others, we established the Together for Children campaign, which has 52 organisations and over 160 individual experts behind it. The campaign’s online petition attracted over 108,000 signatures.
We were delighted when Peers removed the clauses back in November, and had confidence they would once again defend children’s rights when the Bill returned after the Commons.
Shadow Children’s Minister Emma Lewell-Buck has led the parliamentary attack on the clauses in the Commons, with former Children’s Minister Tim Loughton also robustly defending universal legal protection for vulnerable children and young people.
Article 39’s Director, Carolyne Willow, says:
“This is extraordinarily excellent news for children and young people across the country. Their legal protection will now remain intact, wherever they live and whoever looks after them. What a fight it has been to defend these fundamental rights, but how wonderful it is that Ministers have done right by children and young people.”
The Bill reaches its next parliamentary stage on Tuesday, 7 March, when the exemption clauses will be removed once and for all.