UNCRC Concluding Observations – a year on
A year ago the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child published its 2016 report on the United Kingdom’s progress in implementing children’s rights since it last reported in 2008.
The report was informed by evidence from all parts of the UK. At the time, the Committee took note of Wales’ progress in relation to children’s rights, for example it praised how the right to play is promoted.
Marking the anniversary on 12 July, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant, said in a written statement:
‘Our work on children’s rights continues. The Welsh Government is committed to putting the rights of children at the centre of our policy making here in Wales. The UN Committee’s recommendations and concluding observations have given us another opportunity to review our work on children’s rights and consider how we can continue to improve ... Both the Welsh Government and the Assembly Commission are taking forward the objective of showing respect for the views of the child, through providing greater opportunities to participate in decisions which affect them.’
The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland published a brief summary of progress made in the last year, and areas still to be tackled.
The Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group also took the opportunity to:
‘give recognition to the advancements made since last July, whilst also reinforcing the need for greater urgency if the Committee’s recommendations are to be fully implemented as intended.
‘The Committee welcomed the positive steps being taken by the Welsh Government towards fully incorporating the UNCRC into domestic law, recognising that good progress had been made to secure and protect the rights of many children and young people, which have since been built upon by the appointment of a Cabinet Secretary with specific responsibility for children’s rights and the establishment of a Children’s Rights Advisory Group with external representation.’