Decisions taken by the UK Government during the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted children’s rights in England – including their right to education, safety and play. This is according to a new joint report by Save the Children, Children’s Rights Alliance for England and Just for Kids Law.
The report, What about the Children?, identifies children’s right and need to play as one of the key areas that suffered. It says some rules in England around outdoor exercise and meeting others were confusing and discriminatory. This meant children were unable to play outside with friends for a prolonged period, leading to lasting harm to their development and mental health. However, the report notes policies in Wales and Scotland were quicker to recognise the importance of children’s play and offer clearer guidance concerning children.
What about the Children? makes several recommendations, including providing support for children to deal with the ongoing consequences of the pandemic and protecting children’s rights in the future. The report is being released ahead of the UK COVID-19 Inquiry’s next session, which will look at decision-making by the UK and devolved governments.