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Ten years of Children’s Commissioner marked by series of Assembly events, 05/10/11 [W]

The National Assembly for Wales will host a series of events today to mark the tenth anniversary of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.

In 2001, Wales became the first UK legislature to establish a Children’s Commissioner – currently Keith Towler – on the recommendation of a cross-party committee of Assembly Members.

The Commissioner’s role is to safeguard the rights of children in Wales and ensure that Welsh Government policy in this area is delivered effectively.

Today’s events will begin with KeithTowler presenting his Annual Report to the Assembly’s cross-party Children and Young People Committee.

He will then attend a debate in Siambr Hywel with 60 young people from schools across Wales, along with First Minister Carwyn Jones and Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM.

The Assembly’s Presiding Officer, Rosemary Butler AM, will meet with him before he attends an evening reception with AMs and stakeholders hosted by Christine Chapman AM – Chair of the Children and Young People Committee.

Presiding Officer, Rosemary Butler, AM said: “The National Assembly for Wales proved itself a modern forward-looking legislature when it established a Children’s Commissioner in 2001 – a move that was swiftly mirrored by all other UK administrations and one that Wales should be very proud of.

“As we mark ten years of the Children’s Commissioner, we must celebrate the positive steps that have been taken to champion children’s rights in Wales, but we must also reaffirm our commitment to ensuring children and young people are properly represented and safeguarded for years to come.”

Chair of the Children and Young People Committee, Christine Chapman AM, said: “It’s vital that there are mechanisms in place to allow children and young people to directly influence decisions which impact on their lives, and a huge amount of work has been done over the past ten years to facilitate this.

“Today’s celebrations are an opportunity for us all to reflect on what’s been achieved for children and young people over the past ten years and also look to how we can build on these successes in the future.”

A copy of the Children’s Commissioner’s for Wales Annual Report & Accounts can be downloaded from: www.childcomwales.org.uk