The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has published its latest findings about the UK’s implementation of children’s rights.
The findings were issued in response to the UK’s update on its adherence to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The report contains the Committee’s main concerns and recommendations about the UK’s progress, as well as noting positive aspects.
The report includes four recommendations in relation to children’s right to play, which is covered under Article 31 of the Convention:
- develop a strategy, with sufficient resources, aimed at ensuring children’s right to rest, leisure and recreation, including free outdoor play
- integrate children’s right to play into school curricula and ensure that children have sufficient time to engage in play and recreational activities that are inclusive and age-appropriate
- strengthen measures to ensure that all children, including children with disabilities, young children, children in rural areas and children with disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, have access to accessible and safe public outdoor play spaces
- involve children in decisions regarding urban-planning processes, including public transportation, and in the development of spaces for children to play.
Play Wales’ Assistant Director, Marianne Mannello, said:
‘Play Wales welcomes the findings of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. We are pleased to see the Committee recommendations emphasising the need to resource play, consider play in schools, address access issues for all children and involve children in planning processes.
These recommendations respond to issues raised in the 2022 State of Children’s Rights in Wales report to the Committee from the Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group, of which Play Wales is a member. The recommendations also synergise with those identified in the Ministerial Review of Play Steering Group report, published in February 2023 and currently being considered by the Welsh Government.’