Most child abuse deaths last year were 'avoidable'

  • @_richardhall

Nearly two-thirds of children who died as a result of abuse last year could have been saved, a damning report has claimed.

Campaigners have accused the Government of failing to protect the rights of children after they revealed that 65 per cent of child-abuse deaths in England could have been avoided.

The report, published by the Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), found that a total of 43 children died as a result of "deliberately inflicted injury, abuse or neglect" in 2011-12.

Paola Uccellari, director of the CRAE, said the findings showed there was "a massive question mark over the Government's commitment to children's rights".

"The Government's lack of progress is not surprising when we find out that it is flouting its own promise to check whether its policies breach children's rights," she said.

The United Nations told the UK in 2008 to improve its children's rights in 118 areas – the CRAE found that in 31 per cent of recommendations conditions have worsened for children.

In its 2008 assessment, the UN said British children are at risk of being treated unfairly because of a "general climate of intolerance".

Among its findings, the CRAE said more than 3,000 foster children are estimated to have gone missing in the year up to March 2012.

It said "a lack of resources" was behind a number of the problems facing children's rights but it added that "a lack of money is not an excuse for the Government's failure to secure children's rights".

Shadow children's minister Lisa Nandy said: "CRAE's report shows the Government is failing children by not fulfilling its own commitment to routinely assess the impact of its policies on children's rights."

She said policies were being "pushed through without any thought as to the impact on children", meaning their needs were "often invisible and their rights are undermined".