Equality Rights Group has once more raised the subject of children’s rights with Government, a spokesman announced in a recent statement to the press.

‘This is to do with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was signed by the UK on 19 April 1990, and ratified on 16 December 1991. It came into force in the UK on 15 January 1992, a full 25 years ago! 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 protections for the rights of children in Gibraltar ever since. 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, the Hon. 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. This is unacceptable for two reasons: firstly, Gibraltar should not be subjected to tortoise-paced bureaucracy on issues of importance to our children; and, secondly, the UK is acting against the spirit of our 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. We believe 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. ERG will therefore be making representations to both the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and to the Governor on these very points.

‘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,’ the statement ended.