UN slams UK Government for lack of policy, planning and investment in play

10 Jun

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The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is highly critical of the UK Government’s recent record on children’s play, in a new report published this week.

The advance (unedited) report of the CRC’s concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on children’s rights, says that the committee is ‘concerned about the withdrawal of a play policy in England, and the under-funding of play…’ across the UK.

The report contains praise for the Welsh government’s introduction of a statutory play sufficiency duty, saying that the committee ‘welcomes the initiative of Wales to adopt play policy and integrate children’s right to play in legislation.

The CRC report notes that there are ‘insufficient places and facilities for play and leisure for children … as well as public space for adolescents to socialize’ and calls on both the UK Government and the devolved administrations to do much more to adopt the measures set out in its general comment No 17 (2013) on Article 31 of the UNCRC, to: –

‘(a) Strengthen its efforts to guarantee the right of the child to rest and leisure and to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child, including by adopting and implementing play and leisure policies with sufficient and sustainable resources;

(b) Provide children safe, accessible, inclusive and smoking-free spaces for play and socialization and public transport to access such spaces;

(c) Fully involve children in planning, designing and monitoring the implementation of play policies and activities relevant to play and leisure, at community, local and national levels’.

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In general, the CRC report criticises the UK government for not taking forward the 2009 UK-wide strategy on children’s rights, Working together, achieving more, which it says should be ‘revised … to cover all areas of the convention and ensure its full implementation’. In England, this plan included a 10-year national play strategy, abandoned by the coalition government in 2010, with the subsequent removal of play policy from ministerial responsibilities.

Adrian Voce

 

4 Responses to “UN slams UK Government for lack of policy, planning and investment in play”

  1. Donne Buck 10 June 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    Thanks for the update, Adrian. Despite your spendid efforts, national play policy seems to be fated to go two steps forwards and one back. What hope is there for play development locally if those of us who are trying to sustain it have no policy backing for it? Where do we go from here?

    Like

  2. plexity 10 June 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    Can I be the first person to say that I am also “concerned about the withdrawal of a play policy in England, and the under-funding of play…’ across the UK”, and also that I agree with Donne?

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. This UN report is an indictment of a government that doesn’t care – but also an opportunity for play advocates | Policy for Play - 28 July 2016

    […] concluding observations of last week’s report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, on the UK’s recent record on children’s rights, […]

    Like

  2. Policy for play needs an urgent rethink | Policy for Play - 19 September 2018

    […] and opportunity for children to play as fully and with as much freedom as they need – and the absence, since 2010, of any meaningful policy response. She is right to be concerned, and advocates will […]

    Like

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