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Written Statement: Children’s rights in Wales Children, Young People and Education Committee report

Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure – Compliance Report

The rights of children and young people, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), continue to be at the heart of decision making within the Welsh Government.

The Children, Young People and Education Committee published its report on children’s rights in Wales on 10 August and I have responded stating that the Welsh Government will accept or accept in principle the majority of its recommendations.

I would like to clarify a previous statement published on 13 July, which informed members of the intention to revert to a five yearly reporting cycle for the due regard compliance report, as set out in article 44(1)(b) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, because of the exceptional situation we are currently in.  This was instead of every two and a half years as published in the 2014 Children’s Rights Scheme.

Any amendment to the current two and a half year reporting cycle would need to be effected through an amendment to the Children’s Rights Scheme. Any revision of the scheme would need to be made in compliance with the procedural requirements in section 3 of the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011 including consultation with key stakeholders and arranging for publication and laying and approval of the revised scheme by the Senedd. The reporting cycle could not be changed without going through this process.

In light of discussion with children’s rights experts, it is the intention of the Welsh Government to publish a high-level compliance report early in 2021 and to continue with its commitment to produce a due regard compliance report every two-and-a-half years.

I have written to the chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee setting out my intention to host a round table discussion with key stakeholders to discuss children’s rights which will include progress in Wales and a draft compliance report.

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