Jeff Cuthbert, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
Today, on Children’s Rights Day, I am pleased to launch the Welsh Government contribution to the UK state party report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
In January 2014 the UK Government, as the State Party will be reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on progress made in implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and in addressing the recommendations and concluding observations they made in 2008.
This report is Wales’ contribution to the UK state party report. It gives us an opportunity to highlight the significant progress we have made and draw national and international attention to the distinctive direction we have taken to making the rights of the UNCRC a reality for all children and young people in Wales.
The Welsh Government believes every child and young person is important. Each one should have the best start in life, the best possible chance to grow up free from poverty or harm and with the support they need to reach their full potential.
The report reflects Wales’ ambition and progress in being seen as a country leading the way internationally in placing children’s rights and outcomes at the heart of everything we do.
The Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011 is testament to this.
By placing children’s rights at the heart of all our policy and legislation, it will influence the delivery of services and improve the outcomes for children and young people. Our success will be measured by the impact it has on the lives of children, young people and families.
The report does not reflect all of the Welsh Government’s activity relating to children and young people over the last seven years but rather, it seeks to reflect a representative snapshot emphasising our main achievements and the challenges we face. It also provides an insight into the initiatives currently underway in the arena of continually changing policy.
Whilst we are driving and improving progress in Wales, there are areas that are not devolved and the policy and legislation developed by the UK Government has a great impact on children and young people in Wales.
The wider UK policy environment has changed dramatically over the past year and the austerity and welfare policies of the UK Government have a huge impact on children and young people in Wales. We continue to work with the UK Government to ensure that the needs and outcomes of children, young people and families in Wales are considered.
Addressing poverty and its impact on children, young people and families is a top priority for our Government. As Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, I alongside my Deputy Minister for Tacking Poverty, will ensure that children’s rights are given the prominence they deserve within this critical agenda.
The report is available on the Welsh Government’s website, a link is provided below. I ask everyone, especially those with an interest in children, young people and their families to take some time to consider our progress and achievements.