This week Assembly Members unanimously supported the Measure which will now go forward for Royal Assent.
The proposed Measure will strengthen and build on the existing rights based approach of the Welsh Assembly Government towards policy for children and young people, and also strengthen children and young people’s position in Welsh society.
It will place a duty on Welsh Ministers to have due regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) from 1 May 2012 to 30 April 2014, when making decisions about the formulation, review or change of policies, or about proposed legislation. And from 1 May 2014, the duty will apply when Welsh Ministers exercise any of their functions.
Welcoming this step Huw Lewis said:
“This week marked another step forward for realising the rights of children and young people in Wales. As I have said many times before this Measure will take Wales’ commitment to its children and young people further than any other country in the UK.
“Embedding the UNCRC into domestic law in Wales will ensure that it becomes integral to devolved government policy making and the development of legislative proposals in Wales.
“Over time, it will help children and young people to understand and claim their rights. In doing so, they can fulfil their potential and become more responsible citizens, more able and willing to contribute fully to community life and the social capital of Wales. In turn I believe this will enhance our future economic prosperity as a nation.
“More importantly, I can see that this Measure will provide children and young people with an increased enjoyment of their rights. It will put them in a stronger position to access the support and services available to them and through doing so overcome barriers and achieve a brighter future.”