Family life, and rest, leisure and cultural activities – Government action
UK Government actions
- In June 2021, the UK Government committed to raise the minimum age for people to marry in England and Wales to 18, so that it would no longer be lawful to marry from the age of 16 with parental consent.
- In February 2021, the UK Government issued a statement providing further details of its review of legal routes to the UK for people who have claimed asylum in the EU, including family reunion of unaccompanied children, as required by the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020.
- In October 2020, the UK Government reaffirmed its position prohibiting unaccompanied children who sought asylum in the UK to act as sponsors for their parents.
- In July 2020, the UK Government announced £1.57 billion in funding to protect and support the UK’s arts, culture and heritage industries through the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In June 2020, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 received royal assent, introducing ‘no fault divorce’ in England and Wales.
- In April 2020, the UK Government amended regulations to give local authorities and children’s social care providers flexibility in responding to the pandemic, such as permitting remote family visits.
- In March 2020, the UK Government imposed temporary statutory restrictions and closures on public outdoor spaces and public places such as community centres, religious places of worship, and leisure and culture facilities. Most restrictions were lifted in July 2020, but further restrictions were applied across all, or parts of, England between September 2020 and July 2021.
- In March 2020, Public Health England published a review into improving access to ‘greenspace’ in England, which included recommendations for local authorities on how greenspaces can be used to reduce health inequalities.
- In December 2019, new regulations came into effect to allow opposite sex couples to register civil partnerships in England and Wales.
- In May 2019, the UK ratified the Marrakesh Treaty, to ensure that people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled are able to access published works protected by copyright.
- In February 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published its Integrated Communities Action Plan for England. The plan included commitments to support awareness campaigns on the benefits of civilly registered marriages and to consider potential reforms related to the law on marriage and religious ceremonies.
- In February 2019, the UK Government committed to processing all outstanding family reunion requests made under the Dublin III Regulation that had not been resolved before the regulation ceased to apply in the UK on 31 December 2020. The Dublin III Regulation established the criteria for determining which EU Member State is responsible for examining an asylum claim made in the European Union.
- In January 2019, the UK Government published guidance for prison staff on strengthening prisoners’ relationships with their families and friends.
- In January 2017, through the Policing and Crime Act 2017, the UK Government introduced lifelong anonymity for victims of forced marriage in an attempt to encourage victims to come forward. In November 2018, the UK Government’s Forced Marriage Unit (jointly run by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Home Office) launched the ‘Forced Marriage Awareness Campaign’ to raise awareness of the crime of forced marriage and the support available to victims.
Read our assessment of the UK Government’s progress on family life, and rest, leisure and cultural activities.
The assessment was made based on the evidence available up to 12/07/2021