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Children in Wales marks 25th anniversary of children’s rights convention, 20/11/14 [W/E/NI/S]

Children in Wales is reflecting on progress made towards making children’s rights a reality in Wales and across the world, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the United National Convention on the Rights of the Child.

20 November, Universal Children’s Day, marks the date when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children and young people aged 17 and under a comprehensive set of rights to life, health, and a basic standard of living. Currently, 194 countries are now party to the Convention, including every member of the United Nations except Somalia, South Sudan and the United States.

In 2011, Wales became the first country in the UK to make the UNCRC part of its domestic law, when the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure was given Royal Assent. This law means that Welsh Ministers must consider children’s rights in all of their work.

Although Wales has made a lot of progress in improving children’s rights, there is still work to be done. In his latest annual report, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales recently raised concerns that public spending cutbacks could affect front line services for vulnerable children and impact on respite provision for disabled children. The Commissioner also highlighted the lack of a Minister for children in the Welsh Government.

Children in Wales believes, therefore, that it’s important to keep a focus on making sure the rights they are entitled to reflect the real lives of all children and young people in Wales.

Lynne Hill, Policy Director, said:

“Children in Wales is delighted to mark the Universal Children’s Day, and reflect on the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. While clearly there is progress to celebrate, it is vital that we continue to seek to work with our members to ensure all children fully achieve their rights in Wales.”

Notes

  1. Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for third sector, statutory, independent and professional organisations and individuals who work with children and young people in Wales. www.childreninwales.org.uk. Children in Wales was established in March 1992 and became a registered charity in 1993.  It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, disabled children and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.  We collect and disseminate information about children and promote good practice in children’s services through research, policy and practice development, publications, conferences, seminars, training and access to an extensive library and information service.  Children in Wales has offices in Cardiff and Caernarfon.
  2. Details of Children in Wales’ works in relation to rights is on our website: http://www.childreninwales.org.uk/our-work/rights/
  3. The full text of the Convention of the Rights of the Child can be found at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx. Further information and training materials are provided on the Welsh Government ‘Let’s Get it Right’ site, http://www.uncrcletsgetitright.co.uk/
  4. For further information, please contact Catriona Williams on 02920 342434 or email sean.oneill@childreninwales.org.uk