In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
On Saturday 25 May, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth will be host to US radio star, Peter Greenberg.
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
- Historic garden is a breakfast TV star
- National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Future management of private water supply pipes
- Amendments to the Motor Vehicle (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 and the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- Draft action plan for pollinators
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
23 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Oral - Proposed Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure
Yesterday, I laid the Proposed Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure, together with an explanatory memorandum, before the Assembly. I also issued a written statement, and today I have the honour of introducing this flagship piece of legislation for Assembly consideration.
It is widely accepted that children and young people who know about and enjoy their human rights generally also have improved self-confidence and higher expectations, and are more likely to fulfil their full potential. Similarly, this helps them to become more responsible citizens, who are more able and willing to contribute more fully to community life. We in Wales value these characteristics, and we take pride in striving to give our children and young people the tools that they need to play a full and active part in our society as citizens.
In December 1991, the UK ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child—the UNCRC. The convention is a comprehensive instrument that sets out rights that define universal principles and norms for the status of children. The UNCRC takes an integrated and holistic approach to the rights of the child, as economic, social and cultural rights are dealt together with civil and political rights.
In 2002, the Welsh Assembly Government decided that, in developing and securing implementation of policies for children and young people, from birth until the age of 25, it should work towards seven core aims. These were developed by drawing on and summarising the UNCRC. In 2004, the Welsh Assembly Government went further still and decided that, whenever it developed policies for children and young people, it would do so with the aim of achieving for them the rights that are set out in the UNCRC. However, the seven core aims are a Welsh policy interpretation and, in effect, a summary of the UNCRC. That means that the focus has been a more general consideration of the convention, rather than of each article individually. As a result, progress towards full realisation of the UNCRC for every child and young person in Wales has not been, perhaps, as rapid or comprehensive as we may have wished.
In July 2009, the former First Minister raised the profile of this issue and gave a clear steer that there was a desire to extend the consideration of the UNCRC in Wales and consolidate our rights-based approach to policy making. Since then, we have been working to identify the best way of doing that. Earlier this year, we consulted widely on a possible draft proposed Measure and were delighted with the constructive feedback received, from organisations and individuals within Wales and further afield.
The overall purpose of the Proposed Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure is to embed our rights-based approach to policy making and strengthen and maintain momentum towards full realisation of children and young people’s rights in general. The main duty within the proposed Measure is placed on Assembly Government Ministers. It requires them to have due regard to the substantive rights and obligations within the UNCRC and its optional protocols when they make strategic decisions about how to exercise their functions. The duty will apply whenever Ministers undertake strategic planning about how to use their functions. They will have to consider which rights and duties in the UNCRC and its optional protocols are relevant to the areas of strategic planning that they are considering. In taking strategic decisions about how to use their functions, they will have to give the appropriate weight to the rights and obligations balanced against all other relevant factors.
The proposed Measure will require Welsh Ministers to make a children’s scheme. That is where the Welsh Assembly Government must set out its arrangements for securing that the duty is complied with, as well as the criteria for identifying the strategic decisions that I referred to. The scheme requires National Assembly for Wales approval before it can be made. Strategic decisions will include all policy making and the development of most legislative proposals. The purpose of the scheme is so that there is transparency about Assembly Government processes for securing compliance with the duty, and also that they are robustly tested. The scheme will be subjected to external scrutiny through consultation and will then have to pass the test of being acceptable to the Assembly. The draft scheme must be laid no later than 31 March 2012.
The proposed Measure also contains provisions about promoting knowledge and understanding of the UNCRC and its optional protocols, amending legislation to give better effect to them, and considering and consulting on extending the proposed Measure to the 18 to 24 age group. The proposed Measure does not impose any duty on any other person or body, for example NHS bodies or local authorities. The due regard duty is designed so that, in strategic decisions by Ministers, there will be a requirement to give proper consideration to the convention rights and obligations. This proposed Measure will take forward into Welsh law the Assembly Government’s commitment that children and young people’s rights are given the importance that they deserve in the Assembly Government’s work. Wales is, once again, finding new ways to strengthen the rights of children and young people.
There is a growing body of evidence that knowledge and understanding of rights on the part of children, young people and adults lead to improved access to those rights, and this, in turn, leads to improved well-being. For this reason, the proposed Measure places a duty on Welsh Ministers to take appropriate steps to promote knowledge and understanding of the UNCRC and its optional protocols. This highlights the importance of raising levels of knowledge and understanding of the UNCRC with everyone in Wales. Improved wellbeing among the children and young people of today will, in turn, lead to Wales having more vibrant and cohesive communities, increased social capital and improved economic prosperity.
In short, this proposed Measure will not only help the children and young people of today to enjoy improved wellbeing, it will also provide a mechanism for the UNCRC to play its part in ensuring a better tomorrow for our communities and for Wales as a whole.
I commend the proposed Measure to you. I am pleased that Wales is leading the way in the UK as the first of the devolved administrations to embed the UNCRC into its legislation. I look forward to the constructive contribution that the Assembly’s scrutiny process will make as we explore these key issues.