Wales is leading the way in the UK for children’s rights as a duty on Welsh ministers to have due regard to the requirements of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) comes into force on April 30.
The due regard duty means that ministers must consider the rights of children and young people in all the decisions they make about new legislation, policies and changes to existing policy.
This is backed by the Welsh Government’s Children’s Rights Measure which identifies how this will work in practice and provides an easy, accessible way for children and young people to challenge the government if they feel their rights have not been taken into account.
Monitoring, evaluation and reporting will ensure that the focus on children’s rights has an impact.
To coincide with this, Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Children visited Big Pit National Coal Museum in Torfaen to meet local school children and talk about how their lives and rights compared to those of previous generations.
The Deputy Minister said: “I am very proud to be involved in this historic occasion in my role as minister on the portfolio for children. Wales is breaking new ground on children’s rights and other countries will be looking at our experiences as they look to implement the convention.
“We’ve come a long way since 2004 when we adopted the UNCRC with our work for children and young people. Now the whole convention will underpin Welsh Government work, improving policy and legislation to help enhance the lives of children, young people and families.
“We have invested in information, advice and advocacy services to ensure children and young people are protected, able to participate in society and receive support when they need it.
“Children in Wales will see that their government supports their needs and their right to be safe, to be heard and to have opportunities and positive experiences that will set them up for the rest of their lives.”