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Home affairs correspondent Reevel Alderson reports
"Parents need confidence that adults in charge will look after children"
 real 56k

Friday, 27 October, 2000, 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK
'Unsuitable adults' ban examined
Playground
New measures to protect children are planned
Scottish Executive ministers are considering responses to plans for new measures to stop "unsuitable adults" working with children.

The tough proposals form one of the central recommendations of Lord Cullen's report on the Dunblane shootings.

Ministers are proposing an index of adults who are deemed unsuitable to work with children, and long jail terms for anyone breaking the conditions.

However, there are fears the proposals, which would mean even those without any criminal conviction could be included, may seriously affect the human rights of people who work with children.

Lord Cullen
Lord Cullen led the Dunblane Inquiry
The idea is to ensure that people considered unsuitable for work with children, either as employees or volunteers, can be identified.

These would include people who have been sacked, or moved within their workplace because they had put a child at risk of harm.

Once on the index, it would be a criminal offence to try to seek employment with children without revealing the fact.

Youth workers have broadly welcomed the proposals, although they are concerned that investigating prospective employees may place an unacceptable financial burden on voluntary groups.

However, there is a more serious concern from civil liberties groups.

They point out that workplace disciplinary procedures, which could lead to inclusion on the index, rarely satisfy human rights laws.

The Scottish Executive launched a consultation exercise on its plans and ministers say they will consider the responses before bringing forward policy proposals next year.

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See also:

07 Jul 00 | Scotland
Prison threat to 'unsuitable' adults
04 Jul 00 | Education
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21 Apr 99 | Education
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