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Concluding Observations, CRC/C/GBR/CO/4, 20 October 2008: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

24. The Committee welcomes the State party’s plans to consolidate and strengthen equality legislation, with clear opportunities to mainstream children’s right to nondiscrimination into the United Kingdom anti-discrimination law (the forthcoming Equality Bill). The Committee also welcomes the adoption of action plans and the monitoring and information collection work carried out on the issue of discrimination. However, the Committee is concerned that in practice certain groups of children, such as: Roma and Irish Travellers’ children; migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children; lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender children (LBGT) and children belonging to minority groups continue to experience discrimination and social stigmatization. The Committee is also concerned at the general climate of intolerance and negative public attitudes towards children, especially adolescents, which appears to exist in the State party, including in the media, and may be often the underlying cause of further infringements of their rights.

25. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure full protection against discrimination on any grounds, including by:

  1. Taking urgent measures to address the intolerance and inappropriate characterization of children, especially adolescents, within the society, including in the media;
  2. Strengthening its awareness-raising and other preventive activities against discrimination and, if necessary, taking affirmative actions for the benefit of vulnerable groups of children, such as Roma and Irish Travellers’ children; migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children; lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender children (LBGT); and of children belonging to minority groups;
  3. Taking all necessary measures to ensure that cases of discrimination against children in all sectors of society are addressed effectively, including with disciplinary, administrative or – if necessary – penal sanctions.

Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CRC-United Kingdom-2008-eng