This is an international human rights treaty which sets out and protects certain rights of children. Lawyers should use it when making children’s rights arguments.
The UNCRC was ratified by the UK in December 1991. Although not directly incorporated into UK law, the principles of the UNCRC guide domestic law and practice, and are often referred to by the courts when interpreting obligations imposed by human rights and other legislation.
In addition to its status as an international treaty which is legally binding on the UK, the Convention also has a degree of more direct legal effect in the UK’s legal system, through the Human Rights Act 1998. The UNCRC has been taken into account by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the context of its interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The UK Courts are required by the Human Rights Act 1998 to take account of ECtHR jurisprudence and the Government is bound by its judgments in cases against the UK.