Gower MP joins new cross-party multi-nation alliance calling on all 4 UK nations to the ban handcuffing of innocent children in care
Tonia Antoniazzi MP is calling on the governments of all 4 UK nations to take action to ban the handcuffing of innocent children in care when being transported from one care setting to another.
Today, Tonia Antoniazzi MP joined other politicians in the House of Commons to mark Child Safety Week and to commemorate Wales’s recent progress on this issue, where strong guidelines have been introduced. The new alliance has also called for similar guidelines to be implemented UK-wide by governments in London, Edinburgh and Belfast.
A number of the politicians, including Tonia have also posed with photographs of themselves on social media posing in the style of the Hope Instead of Handcuffs campaign logo with their wrists touching, to show their support for the campaign and to send a message to the UK that they oppose this brutal practice and that action must be taken to prohibit it.
Currently, some private transportation providers handcuff vulnerable children on journeys whilst they are being transported between care settings, causing them significant pain and distress, and in complete breach of their human rights as laid out by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. To be clear, these are innocent children who have not been accused of any crime.
A particular concern is that there is no regulation or responsibility for transport providers to report any official record of instances of handcuffing, so the scale of the issue is likely far greater than we are currently aware of, not to mention the shocking lack of transparency and accountability.
Other MPs who are major supporters of the campaign include prominent Labour politicians, such as former Shadow Women and Equalities Minister Sarah Champion and former Shadow Minister for Children and families Steve McCabe.
These politicians and others are calling for mandatory regulations of this process in all 4 UK nations, ensuring that restraint is only used an absolute last resort, and that any instances of restraint must be carefully recorded and monitored by local authorities to improve transparency and accountability. The campaign’s aim is that this increased transparency and accountability will eventually end the handcuffing of innocent children altogether.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “It’s vital that more is done to protect children’s rights and I hope the government in Westminster bans the awful practice of private transportation providers violently restraining innocent children.
“I’m delighted that Wales has taken positive steps in becoming the first UK nation to introduce regulations to protect innocent children in care from being unnecessarily restrained. But now the Tory government in Westminster needs to make sure that similar regulations are introduced to protect vulnerable children in England as well.”