The United Nations has censured the Canadian government for its gross violations of the rights of children and has accused the country of "serious and widespread discrimination" against First Nations children.
On Monday, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued its formal report on Canada's treatment of children and the country's commitment to the world body's Convention on the Rights of the Child, Canada's CTV News reported on Tuesday.
The CRC accused Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government of violating the convention by introducing Bill C-10 to the country's Youth Criminal Justice Act earlier this year.
Bill C-10, which the CRC says does not comply with international standards, allows for harsher penalties for youth offenders and makes it easier for courts to judge them as adults.
The report also expressed concern over the Canadian government's discrimination against its indigenous and black children, who are more likely to be incarcerated than other children.
Many political analysts say that under Stephen Harper's government, human rights abuses in Canada have increased dramatically.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Alfred Lambremont, a human rights lawyer from Vancouver, to further discuss the issue.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT), Britain’s largest teachers’ union has condemned the government’s alleged plan to ban illegal immigrants’ children from schools.
On 27th March 2013, the British media revealed that ministers were considering a plan to oblige schools to check the immigration status of their students as part of a crackdown on “education tourists”, PressTV reported.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said: “It is quite unacceptable for Ministers at the Department for Education to be considering banning children of immigrants deemed ‘illegal’ from schools. We have heard politicians talk of immigrants as ‘health tourists’. This is unacceptable.”
Ms. Blower asked the Government not to “create conditions that imply that the children of immigrants are ‘education tourists’. The UK has obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which the Government must ensure we observe.”
Ms. Blower challenged the Government to “give reassurances that it will not promote reactionary plans such as this.” She warned that “the knowledge that it is being discussed could lead to the victimisation of some of the most vulnerable people in society.”
The NUT, Ms. Blower said, “is determined to support campaigns against racism and Islamophobia.”
She added that UK “schools need to continue to be harmonious, inclusive and respectful of the backgrounds of all the children and young people attending them.”
Bedroom tax breaches UN’s children’s rights . Robert Armour . Children’s Commissioner says UN Convention ignored . SCOTLAND’S Children’s Commissioner has warned that the “bedroom tax” breaches young people’s human rights by plunging them into poverty and harming their social, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Tam Baillie said that the Coalition Government’s welfare reforms, would “heap misery on families already struggling on the breadline”.
The commissioner is just the latest public figure to enter the fray as growing condemnation for the proposals gather in Scotland.
Baillie said the tax is in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and was another example of children’s rights being ignored.
“While the bedroom tax and other proposed benefit changes are the immediate threat, the longer term challenge is the complacency with which we tolerate one in five children in Scotland living in poverty,” he said.
The child poverty rate in Scotland, and across the UK, makes a mockery of our international obligations under the UNCRC. Myself and the other Children’s Commissioners will be holding the UK government to account in our reporting to the UN Committee.”
His intervention came after it emerged that there is not enough one-bedroom social housing stock in Scotland to cover all the country’s one-bedroom households.
Citizens Advice Scotland using Scottish Government analysis say that while 60% of tenants need a one-bedroom property to avoid under occupying their home, only 26% of occupied social rented properties have one bedroom.
It warns that people living in rural communities in particular faced having to move away from family and friends as a result of the new tax.
“There is a mismatch between need and supply of one-bedroom properties, with the result being that many of those affected will not be able to find alternative accommodation,” CAS said.
Of the 105,000 households affected by the under occupation penalty, 83,000 report an adult in the household with a recognised disability.
“The proposed changes will therefore have a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities in Scotland,” said CAS.
“There are limited exemptions for those with disabilities – including those who require an overnight carer – but the majority will still be affected.”
The Scottish Government said the tax will increase inequalities across Scotland and hit the country’s most vulnerable citizens.
A spokesman said: “We have already strengthened the protection for tenants against eviction for rent arrears, in advance of the introduction of the bedroom tax.
“We brought pre-action requirements for rent arrears into force to ensure proceedings for eviction is always the last resort.
“The Scottish Government is providing an extra £2.5 million to social landlords to ensure there is support on hand for people who will lose housing benefit due to the under occupancy measures and other housing benefit cuts being introduced by Westminster from this month.”
Meanwhile, Scottish welfare minister Margaret Burgess has written to Lord Freud, the Westminster welfare minister, demanding Scotland gets its “fair share” of Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) funding.
According to the Scottish government, Scotland and London have the same number of households to be hit by the bedroom tax, but Freud is set to award London with £56.5m in DHP compared to only £10m in Scotland.
“The small levels of DHP in Scotland is woefully inadequate and unfair to deal with the impact and scale of this policy,” said Burgess.
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