Below are five different pieces of current legislation that influence working practices in a setting for children: 1. Human Rights Act 2000 ‘this came into force in October 2000 and has already had a huge impact on current legislation in the UK. It requires courts and tribunals to make judgements using certain articles of the European Convention on Human Rights as a starting point. The act was not designed specifically to protect children but they are accorded the same rights as adults. This means they have a right to dignity, respect and fairness in the way they are treated. Thus a setting is not able to use corporal punishment (smacking or caning) even if a parent consents to it, because it is seen as degrading and a violation of a child’s rights. The Human Rights Act means that parents of children are also protected.’ Penny Tassoni, Childcare and Education Level 3, CACHE, pg 115. 2. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ‘in addition to the Human Rights Act, the UK is also a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This was drawn up in 1989 and gives children and young people under the age of 18 years their own special rights. There are five main strands to the Convention: * Reinforces the importance of fundamental human dignity
* Highlights and defends the family’s role in children’s lives * Seeks respect for children
* Endorses the principle of non-discrimination
* Establishes clear obligations for member countries to ensure that their legal framework is in line with the provisions of the Convention’ Penny Tassoni, Childcare and Education Level 3, CACHE, pg 115. 3. Children Act 1989 ‘as a result of adopting the UNCRC, new legislation was required. The 1989 Children Act, which came into effect in 1991 in England and Wales and in 1996 in North Ireland, attempted to bring together various pieces of legislation. It is wide ranging and covers child protection, parental responsibility and the...