VICTORY AGAINST NAMED PERSON BIG BROTHER POWERS AGAINST CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court were delighted to hear that the Named Person law was ruled illegal in its present form (28 July 2016).
There is growing opposition to money and resources going into the Big Brother surveillance of children and families, when what is needed is financial support for mothers and kinship carers.
The Scottish Kinship Care Alliance with whom we have been working said: “No big brother should undermine a mother. Our children have rights. We shall keep up the fight. Treasure the family and our children's right to be free.”
The number of children removed from their families in Scotland is already 50% higher than in England and Wales. The Named Person, whatever politicians say, would end up targeting low income families and taking more children into care unjustifiably. This legislation was introduced in Scotland first, but the rest of the UK will no doubt follow unless it is stopped.
We hope that the Scottish government will take this opportunity to withdraw this unpopular and discriminatory legislation.
Global Women’s Strike, Women of Colour GWS, Legal Action for Women, Payday men’s network and Single Mothers’ Self-Defence outside the Supreme Court, 28 July 2016, when it ruled against the Named Person law.
PROTEST VS “Scottish NAMED PERSON Legislation”
“The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 ("the 2014 Act") requires that every child and young person in Scotland be appointment a named person other than the Child’s parents”.
The legislation is widely condemned by families – mothers, kinship carers and others, including many SMPs – alarmed that the state is undermining them by taking parenting powers upon itself. The legality of the legislation has been challenged and the Supreme Court will issue its ruling on Thursday 28 July.
Scottish carers have been told that having a named person is not obligatory but it clearly is as there is no opt out in the law. We are concerned that authorities in the rest of the UK will be looking to introduce similar draconian laws.
The Scottish Kinship Care Alliance oppose this legislation as a blatant breach of family rights: “No big brother should undermine a mother. Our children have rights. We shall keep up the fight. Treasure the family and our children's right to be free.”
Early intervention by the state in the name of protecting children has led to cruel and traumatic separation rather than compassionate support. Forced separations of mothers and children have increased massively in the UK in the past 20 years, especially against those of us on low incomes, of colour, immigrant, teenagers, with learning difficulties. Sexism, racism, poverty, homelessness, domestic violence … all heavily influence decisions for the State to intervene and remove the children from their mothers.
Intervention has spawned an industry which feeds on the attack on parents’ capacity to raise their own children. As “emotional abuse and neglect” have become a more common basis for intervention than physical or sexual abuse, the discretionary powers of social workers have dangerously expanded.
Named Person legislation comes at a time when:
• Shockingly more and more children are being taken into care – the number of “looked after” children in England is the highest it’s been since 1985. 1 in 5 children under five are referred to children’s services; 1 in 19 investigated; the figures are even higher if over 5s are taken into account.
• The number of children removed from their families in Scotland is 50% higher than in England and Wales, which are more than 25% higher than Northern Ireland.
• Adoptions are higher than in any other European country, with 96% of adoptions in England taking place without parental consent.
The Named Person legislation was opposed at two meetings in the House of Commons this year. On 8 March, International Women’s Day, the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance, Legal Action for Women and the Global Women’s Strike lobbied MPs & SMPs to value their children and their work. On 7 June, 100 people crowded into a public committee room to hear mothers, kinship carers, academics and campaigners describe the devastation caused to children and their families by unwarranted forced separation.
Distinguished campaigning journalist Richard Wexler from the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform in the US, where they face similar state intrusion, warned that: “The [government] leaflet drips with condescension and infantilizes the parents to whom it is directed ...How a parent decides what his child will see on television or tape up to the walls of his room is none of the government’s business…And it puts a lot of extra stress on a family.”
Co-ordinator of Global Women's Strike
In The Guardian: Child removals mark a return to Victorian values
More Guardian articles
Quoted in NY Times Op-Ed: Pay People to Cook at Home!
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