Our aim in this chapter is to examine the principles and underlying assumptions that have guided British policy on children since 1945. It is not a straightforward task. British policy stands squarely at the implicit end of the spectrum. In the absence of a written constitution or Bill of Rights, there is no tradition in the UK of the state defining its obligations towards its citizens, whether adults or children. To use the terminology of the 1990s, the UK has no Mission Statement or Charter relating to children.
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