Effective Government Structures For Children

Report of a Gulbenkian Foundation inquiry

Rachel Hodgkin and Peter Newell

£10.95 + p&p, 168 pp
ISBN 978 0 903319 77 5
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There is widespread concern that government structures in the UK are failing children. This report proposes ways of ensuring that central government is responsive to the needs and rights of children. It aims to move forward the debate on how government should organise itself for children.

The report is the result of a wide-ranging inquiry, both within the UK and internationally, into ‘Effective Government Structures for Children’, set up by the Gulbenkian Foundation. It outlines the aims of effective government for children, and justifies in detail the case for special structures. It goes on to discuss what central government should be doing for children, and to make detailed proposals for alternative structures, both in Whitehall and within Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In addition it promotes the case for new parliamentary structures, and for an independent Office of Children’s Rights Commissioner.

Rachel Hodgkin currently works as a children’s rights consultant for various children’s organisations. She has worked actively in children’s advocacy since 1979 when she helped set up the Children’s Legal Centre; in 1993 she moved to the National Children’s Bureau where she was principal policy officer and clerk to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children.

Peter Newell chairs the council of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England and is coordinator of EPOCH – End Physical Punishment of Children. He also works as a consultant for UNICEF on implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child and is Adviser to the European Network of Ombudspeople for Children.