Professor Sally Holland has stepped down as Children’s Commissioner for Wales following a successful seven-year term in office. She has made an outstanding contribution to the children’s rights agenda in Wales.
As children’s commissioner, Professor Holland has listened to children and young people and acted on what they have said. To inform her term of office, Professor Holland launched her Wales-wide consultation What Next/Beth Nesa asking children to have their say on her priorities. With more than 25,000 responses, she used children’s and young people’s voices and priorities as the basis for her work.
Her focus on talking with children and young people and finding out what they think has marked her tenure as commissioner. This has been particularly evident during the pandemic and the development of the Coronavirus and Me survey. This enabled the children’s commissioner to work in a unique partnership with the Welsh Government, Children in Wales and the Welsh Youth Parliament to ensure children and young people could tell us how the pandemic was affecting their lives. These surveys, which gathered more than 43,000 responses, were commended by UNICEF and helped to shape Welsh Government decisions.
Professor Holland’s commitment to embedding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and raising awareness of children’s rights can be seen through her development and delivery of The Right Way, which is a resource drawing together a strategic approach to embedding children’s rights.
Professor Holland returns to Cardiff University and is succeeded by Rocio Cifuentes, who today takes up the post as the new Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
This statement is being issued during recess to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.