§ Lord Tebbit
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the Human Rights Act 1998 limits the authority of those responsible for the welfare of children placed in their care to restrict the rights of those children to participate in any form of sex when over the age of consent. [HL2149]
§ Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
The primary duty of the local authority is to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child who is looked after. Section 25 of the Children Act 1989 governs the restriction of liberty of children being looked after by local authorities. The Government do not expect that the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 will limit the ability of local authorities to safeguard the welfare of children and young people in their care. Like any person with parental responsibility, the local authority has no specific right to ban sexual activity over the age of consent but can take proportionate action to control behaviour to protect a young person's welfare.