The End Child Poverty Network Cymru remain deeply concerned that levels of child poverty in Wales remain stubbornly high and predicted to sharply increase in the near future, with many more children and their families struggling to meet basic everyday costs and needs.
This year marked the start of the journey towards the next examination of the governmentäó»s progress in implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group have released a report which has sought to identify the priority issues impacting on children in Wales and the barriers they face in realising their rights. Drawing on evidence received from over 80 organisations and individuals through consultation events and a call for written evidence, the report acknowledges that whilst progress has been made in some areas, all children, particularly those most vulnerable, continue to face huge levels of disadvantage and inequalities, which have been exacerbated as a consequence of the pandemic. The report, which will be submitted to the United Nations, provides a list of questions for the Welsh Government across 30 policy areas affecting children, including Child Poverty, Mental Health and Education. We hope that the United Nations will take account of our questions when issuing their report to the government early next year. Commenting on the Report, members of the Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group said Children in Wales Children in Wales welcome this report and the engagement of a wide range of organisations and individuals who have highlighted many of the challenges and barriers children and young people face when trying to access their rights. The report provides a timely reminder ahead of next May's Senedd elections, of the need for all political parties to prioritise children and young people, and commit to making a real difference to improving their daily lives, ensuring that children's rights are central to Covid-19 recovery planning. (Sean O'Neill, Policy Director, Children in Wales) Barnardo's Cymru The pandemic has brought immense additional pressure to the work of facilitating children to realise their rights. For this reason this UNCRC reporting cycle is hugely timely, and will assist us all in maintaining a steady focus on these essential guiding rights and principles. Barnardo's Cymru welcomes this report in its entirety and is particularly interested in how calls relating to child abuse and exploitation, mental health and children's experience of family support and social care are pursued and acted upon by Welsh Government, as well as using them to inform our own work with children, young people and families. (Sarah Crawley, Director, Barnardo's Cymru) National Deaf Children's Society Cymru The National Deaf Children's Society Cymru welcomes this report. While 2020 has been a difficult and challenging year for everyone, deaf and disabled children, young people and their families have faced particular challenges in accessing vital support as a result of the pandemic. Moving forward, providing enhanced support for this vulnerable group will be critical in minimising the longer term impact of the pandemic for deaf and disabled children and young people.