‘UK taking too long on Gib’s children’s rights’ – ERG

The Equality Rights Group has complained about the “unacceptable” delay in extending the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to Gibraltar.
The Group said it will therefore be making representations to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, over the matter.
In a statement the ERG highlighted how the Convention came into force in the UK in 1992, some 25 years ago, and although Gibraltar satisfied all the bureaucratic requirements for its extension by the UK to Gibraltar, this has yet to materialise.
“ERG questioned some years back why Gibraltar still hadn’t brought these provisions into effect, and has been chasing the implementation of this important set of protection for the rights of children in Gibraltar ever since,” the statement read.
“Nearly a year ago, we were advised by Government that Gibraltar had then satisfied all the bureaucratic requirements for the extension of this Convention by the United Kingdom to Gibraltar.”
“Unfortunately, after asking for follow-up from the Minister responsible for Justice, Neil Costa, it appears that, to date, the British Government still hasn’t audited Gibraltar’s submitted paperwork in compliance for the Convention to be brought into effect on the Rock,” the ERG said.
The Group said this is unacceptable for two reasons.
Firstly, it said, Gibraltar should not be subjected to “tortoise-paced bureaucracy on issues of importance to our children”.
Secondly, the ERG claimed, the UK is acting against the spirit of Gibraltar’s Constitution by placing impediments on Gibraltar’s ability to directly opt in or out of international Conventions with application exclusively to domestic social affairs, such as this one.
The ERG further stated that the UK should be “acting within the spirit of the Constitution” by providing Gibraltar with the maximum self-government on domestic issues that it “patently purports to extend,” and which red tape of this sort slows down and impedes.
The Group said: “Children deserve all our protection and support both in Gibraltar and elsewhere, where conditions require urgent help.”
“In this further respect, Charles Trico, ERG Secretary, accompanied by colleague Joseph Berllaque, has led a personal visit to a Tangier-based facility for abandoned young children, and as a result, ERG, along with members of the public, has also committed a financial subsidy to facilitate the shipment of baby clothes and other items which are desperately needed and have been kindly given by members of the public towards helping the Tangier Creche organisation in Morocco.”

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