Parliamentary Human Rights Committee raises reservations about Armed Forces Bill
The Westminster Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has published its report on the Armed Forces Bill, which raises "several significant human rights issues":
According to the parliamentary website:
The Committee calls on the Government to remove the proposal which would permit the judge advocate to authorise multiple search and entry of all residential premises by service police: this could be a disproportionate interference with the right to respect for people's homes.
The Committee also calls for clarification of the arrangements for the discharge of under-18s from the armed forces to bring the service commitment into line with that made by recruits of other ages. The Committee believes that the Bill provides a good opportunity to consider the issue of under-18s serving in the Armed Forces, and the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on UK compliance with the UN Optional Protocol on Children in Armed Conflict.
Other human rights issues raised by the report relate to Sexual Offences Prevention Orders; Service Complaints Panels; issues around the treatment of detainees by Armed Forces personnel, including independence of service police and effectiveness of investigators. Finally, the Committee calls on the Government to remove the Armed Forces exemption from the Equalities Act 2010.
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