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Universal Children’s Day 2015, 20/11/15

Children in Wales is highlighting the importance of children’s rights as we celebrate Universal Children’s Day.

Universal Children’s Day, held annually on 20 November, celebrates the day when the United National Assembly 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 a legally-binding international agreement setting out the rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities. These include civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that children and young people need to live full lives and participate in the life of their countries.  In 2011, Wales became the first country in the UK to put the UNCRC into its domestic law in the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011.

Children in Wales works to ensure that these rights become a reality for children in Wales, and that their voices are heard by decision makers. Our participation hub, Young Wales, further gives young people a chance to have their voices directly heard by politicians.  In October 2015, we accompanied three young people to Geneva to meet with representatives from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, to give their views on children’s rights in Wales. This formed part of the reporting process for the UK as the State Party under the UNCRC.  The young people presented a report to the representatives that Young Wales had co-ordinated, called Young Wales Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. The report makes recommendations from a Wales-wide perspective and will feed into the reporting process alongside the UK Government’s own report.

In early November 2015, Young Wales facilitated some young people taking part in the UK Youth Parliament event, where delegates take part in their own debates in the House of Commons for the day, and one young person from Wales leads a debate.

On 18 November 2015, young people from Young Wales were also able to meet with Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty to discuss some of our work.

We will continue to build on this work and champion the rights of all children and young people in Wales.

Contact

For more information, please contact Catriona Williams OBE, Chief Executive, on 029 2034 2434.

Notes

  1. Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for people who work with children and young people in Wales.  Our core aim is to contribute towards making the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) a reality in Wales.
  2. Young Wales is a hub for the participation of children and young people, funded by the Welsh Government as one strand of Children in Wales’ work under the Children and Families Development Grant.  Children in Wales is the lead partner with Voices from Care, Tros Gynnal Plant, ProMo Cymru, Youth Friendly, Action for Children and Barnardo’s Cymru.
  3. Our report, Young Wales Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, can be downloaded from http://www.childreninwales.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/YW-Report-for-UN-Final.pdf