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Child abuse deaths 'were avoidable'

Around two-thirds of child deaths caused by abuse could have been avoided last year, campaigners have warned as they accused the Government of failing to protect the rights of children.

A total of 43 children died as a result of "deliberately inflicted injury, abuse or neglect" in 2011-12 in England, of which 65% were deemed "modifiable".

The damning report, published by the Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), found "in far too many areas children's rights continue to be breached".

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

"There is a massive question mark over the Government's commitment to children's rights," said CRAE director Paola Uccellari.

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

It said 36% of the 6,610 children leaving care at the age of 19 were not in education, employment or training, while only 14% of children in care achieved good GCSE grades in English and maths.

The report also said that on average, a child in custody was subject to a restraint resulting in an injury requiring hospital treatment once each month during 2010-11.

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

CRAE also accused the Government of failing to meet its promise to check how its policies - including its raft of spending cuts - impact children's rights.


From Belfast Telegraph