Wales politics

S4C cuts could breach child rights, academics warn

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Cuts to Welsh language TV channel S4C's budget could breach children's rights, two law lecturers at Bangor University have claimed.

S4C's public funding fell from around £101m in 2009 to £80m in 2016-17.

Dr Alison Mawhinney and Carys Aaron said it could violate children's right to information of "social and cultural benefit" in their native language.

They argued the cutbacks could breach this and other elements of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Dr Mawhinney and Ms Aaron said the funding reductions could also contravene the right of children to "seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kind" through media "of the child's choice".

"The UK government must recognise the vital role played by S4C - as the sole provider anywhere of Welsh language children's programmes - in respecting, promoting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of children in Wales and beyond with respect to Articles 13, 17 and 29 of the Convention," said Dr Mawhinney.

Most of S4C's funding now comes from the TV licence fee, rather than from the UK government.

In January, ministers said they were reversing the first year of proposed grant cuts, due to reduce the UK government's annual contribution to the service from £6.7m to £5m by 2020.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale also announced a "comprehensive review" of S4C's remit, governance and funding.

"S4C was created by a Conservative Government, and this UK government remains committed to supporting the valuable service S4C provides to Welsh speaking audiences," he said.

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