Curfews outrage charities

21st August 1998 at 01:00
Government policies allowing curfews on primary pupils have been attacked by children's organisations as contrary to European law.

From September the Home Secretary will have the power to approve local authority requests for curfews after 9pm, for up to 90 days. Under-10s could be picked up by police and taken home or into police "protection".

Legal advice to British children's charities said curfews would breach the European Convention on Human Rights.

The charities - the National Children's Bureau, Barnardo's, the Children's Society, NSPCC and Save the Children - said: "The curfew is likely to demonise children and to suggest to them that they are disliked and dangerous; may waste police time and may help conceal instances of child abuse; it is likely to feed fears and divisions in the community..." UNICEF, the United Nations' children's fund, accused the Home Office of a "regressive step", abusing the spirit of its Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Britain is a signatory.

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF's European spokesperson, said: "This legislation is a regressive step which . . . just puts children in jail . . . (It) is a breach of parents' rights and of the European convention. This is heavy-handed and unnecessary. " A Home Office spokeswoman referred to a statement made by minister Alun Michael. He said: "I am satisfied the proposals for local child curfew schemes as set out in the Crime and Disorder Bill are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. "

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now