1215 Magna Carta King John of England is forced to sign the Magna Carta by members of the English aristocracy. The document required the king to respect certain rights and imposed legal limits on his power.
1689 English Bill of Rights The Bill of Rights, also known as the English Bill of Rights, is an Act of the Parliament of England that deals with constitutional matters and sets out certain basic civil rights.
1789 Declaration of the Rights of man and the Citizen Adopted during the early stage of the French Revolution. This document declares the end of the monarchy and the rights of all people to freedom, property, security, and the resistance to treating people unfairly.
1791 The US Bill of Rights Containing the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, the US Bill of Rights extends citizens’ rights to include freedom of speech, of the press, and to a fair trial, among others.
1864 The first section of the Geneva Conventions, protecting the rights of sick and wounded soldiers, is adopted by European powers. This agreement would eventually be expanded to include the rights of prisoners and of all war victims.
1880 The Elementary Education Act 1880 The act extended the compulsory age of attendance at school until the age of 10. School leaving age was raised with successive Acts from ten to age fourteen in 1918.
1889 The Prevention of Cruelty to, and Protection of, Children Act 1889 Commonly known as the “Children’s Charter” this enabled the government to intervene for the first time between parents and children. Police could arrest anyone found to be ill-treating a child and enter a home if a child was thought to be in danger. The act included guidelines on the employment of children and outlawed begging.
1894 The act was amended and extended. It allowed children to give evidence in court, mental cruelty was recognised and it became an offence to deny a sick child medical attention.
Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act 1904.
Enabled NSPCC Inspectors to remove children from abusive or neglectful family homes.
1908 The Children’s Act 1908 The 1908 Children and Young Persons Act introduced a set of regulations that became known as the Children’s Charter. This imposed severe punishments for neglecting or treating children cruelly.
1918 The Maternity and Child Welfare Act The War prompted the government to direct funds towards infant welfare centres, and the Act encouraged local authorities to continue this work by introducing the principle of free ante-natal care and free medical care of under-fives. Most of the work was undertaken by volunteers.
1926 Adoption of Children Act 1926 Provided adoption for the first time as an alternative to guardianship or institutional care in orphanages.
1932 The Children and Young Persons Act 1932 Extended the powers of juvenile courts and introduced supervision orders for children at risk. The following year, a further act combined all child protection laws into a single piece of legislation. Guidelines were also added which included the minimum working age for children (14).
1946 The first major step on behalf of children taken by the United Nations, was UNICEF’s developments to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries devastated by World War II.
1948 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Is an international document that states the basic rights and freedoms of all human-beings.
1948 The Children Act 1948 The Act created a children’s committee and a children’s officer in each local authority.
1959 The Declaration of the Rights of the Child
Sometimes known as the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, it is an international document promoting child rights.
1968 Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 Established the Scottish Children’s Hearings system and transformed juvenile justice in Scotland by removing children in trouble from the criminal courts.
1972 The Children Act 1972
Set the minimum school leaving age at 16.
1975/1976 The Sex Discrimination Act and the Race Relations Act
These Acts made it illegal to discriminate against anyone on grounds of their gender or ethnicity, and introduced the idea of indirect discrimination.
1989 The UN Convention on Children’s Rights
The UNCRC aims to protect and promote the rights of all children around the world. It is the first international treaty to combine all human rights in reference to children, allowing them to share in family, cultural and social aspects of life. It highlights the right to survival, development, and protection against abuse, neglect and exploitation. It also tackles issues with education, health care, juvenile justice and the rights of children with disabilities
1989 The Children’s Act 1989
This Act made children’s welfare the paramount concern of the courts, it also centred on the idea that children were best looked after by their family.
1991 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
UK ratification of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The convention covered all aspects of a child’s life and sets out the rights that are entitled to.
1995 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Created to promote the rights of people with disabilities and to ensure that they do not suffer discrimination. The first extensive anti-discrimination legislation covering important areas such as education, employment, premises and transport.
1995 The Children’s (Scotland) Act 1995
This Act is about the protection and supervision of children, parental rights and responsibilities, children’s hearings and adoptions.
1998 The Human Rights Act. Came into force in 2002 in order for people to defend their rights in UK courts and public organisations (including the Government, Police and local councils) had to treat everyone equally, with fairness, dignity and respect.
1999 Protection of Children Act 1999
This Act aimed to prevent people considered unsuitable to work with children. Later established in Scotland under the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003.
2002 The Education Act Required schools, local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
2003 Every Child Matters
A revised Children Act based on Every Child Matters was enacted in 2004.
This initiative aimed to help children and young adults stay safe, healthy, make a positive contribution and achieve economic wellbeing.
2004 The Children’s Act 2004 The Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People was appointed, with Children’s Hearings and the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration as significant components of children’s rights in Scotland. Education and social services for children in each local authority were brought together under a director of children’s services
2010 The Equality Act 2010 Protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.
2010 The Child Poverty Act 2010 The Bill would provide a constitutional basis to the commitment made by the government in 1999 to eradicate child poverty by 2020.
2014 Children ; Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 An Act placing children and young people at the centre of planning and services ensuring their rights are valued. Major sections of the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach have been introduced into law under the Act and aims to strengthen children and young people’s rights as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)