Protecting children's rights in Spain
Written by Javier Maquieira, Senior Associate
Edited by Sabina Kadić-Mackenzie, Associate Partner
I’m sure our readers would agree that so far, 2020 has fallen somewhat short on the good news front. But it was not all doom and gloom yesterday in Spain, where new legislation aimed at improving the lives and experiences of children and young people was approved by the government.
The decree for the comprehensive protection of children and young people from violence – also known as the Rhodes law after British musician and activist James Rhodes, who suffered sexual abuse in his childhood – will now be submitted to the Congreso de los Diputados to begin its parliamentary process.
If passed, the principle of children’s best interests will finally be realised, reinforcing their right to be listened to and participate in all matters that affect them. Among other things, the decree recognises the children of victims of gender-based violence as victims too, and prevents people with a sex crime history from working with children.
Another important change is the extension of the time period in which victims can report abuse they suffered as children, delaying the start of this countdown until victims turn 30 rather than 18, as is the case under existing legislation. It would also make reporting signs of violence against children and young people mandatory for all.
Following the cabinet’s meeting, the Spanish deputy prime minister and leader of the Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, apologised to all victims of abuse for which this piece of legislation comes too late, adding his commitment to prevent what happened to previous generations happening to the next.
UNICEF Spain, together with other charities, has played an active role in pushing the implementation process forward since it began in 2011. The organisation has welcomed the changes, as well as the broad consensus and social participation around the decree.
However, it has also highlighted its weaknesses, namely the lack of budget for implementation, and limitations on the protection of unaccompanied migrant children – a reminder that the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child still has a way to go not only in Spain, but elsewhere, too.
But the work goes on, because it must. We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people across the globe – and that starts with protecting their rights. At Charlotte Street Partners, we are delighted to host a special event with UNICEF UK’s Louai Al Roumani, author ofLessons from a Warzone, tomorrow from 10:30 to 11:30am. If you would like to join us, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom details.
George Floyd’s funeral took place yesterday in Houston, Texas, and was attended by around 500 guests, including politicians and celebrities. Speakers lined up during the service to remember a man whose "crime was that he was born black" and make impassioned pleas for racial justice.
The UK’s business secretary confirmed that non-essential shops will be able to open from Monday in England, as long as they follow government safety guidelines and carry out a risk assessment. Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing yesterday, Alok Sharma said that the move would “allow high streets up and down the country to spring back to life”, and praised the changes made by retailers such as supermarkets throughout lockdown.
Anti-racist protestors at the University of Oxford, including students and local residents, crowded onto the street outside Oriel College on Tuesday to demand the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes. Moved by similar actions elsewhere, demonstrators highlighted Rhodes’s legacy of white supremacist and imperialist views and his role in enabling apartheid in South Africa.
Meanwhile, councils across the UK have vowed to review their monuments in the light of anti-racist global demonstrations, a move that could see dozens of statues brought down over slavery links. (£)
Business and economy
Debenhams announced its stores in Milton Keynes, Watford, and the Metrocentre, Gateshead, will not reopen after lockdown restrictions are eased, leading to about 300 job losses. The retailer, which is struggling amid falling high street sales made worse by the coronavirus crisis, said it had failed to agree new rental terms with its landlord Intu, which is itself in financial trouble.
A new survey by ManpowerGroup suggests the UK employment outlook is the gloomiest in almost 30 years, with business in all big sectors more likely to make redundancies than hire people over the next three months. The recruitment firm’s survey comes as employers prepare to start paying in to the furlough scheme, which currently covers the wage bill of almost nine million workers in Britain.
According to a report by the New Economics Foundation, at least 70,000 jobs in the wider aviation industry – including engineering, catering, and duty free shopping – are at risk before the end of summer amid the coronavirus pandemic. The study warms that the job crisis in British aviation could be on the scale of the coal mining industry’s collapse during the 1980s.
Columns of note
Aneeta Rattan writes in the Financial Times an open advice letter to all chief executives serious about building a truly diverse business. She calls on company leaders to educate themselves in diversity and inclusion first to avoid ignorant mistakes, challenging their own assumptions and pairing those lessons with action. (£)
Writing inThe Scotsman, Martyn McLaughlin asks for the statue of Henry Dundas, the first Viscount Melville, in Edinburgh’s St Andrews Square to be torn down amid anti-racism demonstrations. In his opposition to one of the most prominent memorials in the Athens of the North, McLaughlin highlights Melville’s legislative amendment, which proved crucial in delaying the slave trade, resulting in about 630,000 more people being enslaved.
Source: The Times
What happened yesterday?
London stocks finished weaker on Tuesday as retail sales continued to fall. The FTSE 100 ended the session down 2.11% at 6,335.72, while sterling was stronger against the dollar by 0.09% at $1.2735 but weaker versus the euro by 0.28% at €1.1225. Across the pond, the S&P 500 index closed down 0.7% as investors worried about corporate earnings for blue-chip stocks.
In company news:
British American Tobacco was in the red by 3.09% after lowering full-year guidance as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on international travel sales and new products.
Bellway was 5.71% weaker as the housebuilder reported a fall in sales completions between 1 August 2019 and 31 May 2020.
Oxford Instruments was also lower by 3.34%, as it deferred a decision on payment of dividends after the coronavirus crisis hit orders in the first two months of the current year.
Aveva was in the green by 4.33% after leaving its final dividend unchanged, as the industrial software company announced a 22% increase in annual profit and up to £60m of cost cuts.
What's happening today?
Albion. Dev Vct
S & U
Somero Enter Di
UK economic announcements
(00:01) Retail Sales
Int. economic announcements(07:00) Current Account (GER)
(07:00) Balance of Trade (GER)
(10:00) Gross Domestic Product (EU)
(15:00) Wholesales Inventories (US)
Did you know?
Humans are the only animals with chins.
House of Commons
International Development (including Topical Questions)
Prime Minister's Question Time
Ten Minute Rule Motion
Local Electricity - Peter Aldous
Draft Court of Appeal (Recording and Broadcasting) (Amendment) Order 2020 - Robert Buckland
Draft Civil Aviation (Insurance) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 - Grant Shapps
Draft Water Industry (Specified Infrastructure Projects) (English Undertakers) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 - George Eustice
Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 - Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long Bailey, Tulip Siddiq, Margaret Greenwood, Emma Hardy, Mr Nicholas Brown
Rolls Royce redundancies - Gavin Newlands
House of Lords
Ensuring G20 countries cancel any debt owed to them by the poorest countries - The Lord Bishop of Worcester
Increasing government support for water and sanitation programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic - Lord Bruce of Bennachie
Impact of cancelled medical operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic - Baroness Kennedy of Cradley
Impact on children in poverty of not providing free school meal vouchers during summer holidays - Baroness Lister of Burtersett
Agriculture Bill – Second reading - Lord Gardiner of Kimble
First Minister's Questions
Stage 3 Proceedings
Disclosure (Scotland) Bill