7. Letter from Carolyne Willow, National
Co-ordinator, Children's Rights Alliance for England
I was very pleased to have the opportunity to
give oral evidence on the Bill of Rights, and would like to offer
some further information relating to any qualifications on the
enjoyment of economic and social rights that be introduced into
a British Bill of Rights.
As I indicated in the session, we are aware
of the provisions in the South African constitution relating to
the right to health care, food, water and social security that
permit the State to take reasonable measures within available
resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of these rights.
I said in the session that there is no fully
equivalent provision in article 24 of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child, dealing with the child's right to health and health
care. I regret that I omitted to mention that in article 27, dealing
with the child's right to an adequate standard of living, there
is reference to States Parties acting "in accordance with
national conditions and within their means". However, these
qualifications must be seen against the overarching requirement
in article 4 that, in relation to economic, social and cultural
rights, "States Parties shall undertake such measures to
the maximum extent of their available resources". UNICEF
considers it is "doubtful" whether the qualifications
in article 27 dilute the requirements of article 4.
I hope the inquiry is going well, and very much
look forward to reading the Committee's report.
24 January 2008
44 UNICEF (2002) Implementation Handbook for the Convention
on the Rights of the Child. Back