The Welsh Government is to launch a wide-ranging consultation with children and young people to ensure they have a say about the Brexit process
The consultation will ensure Ministers understand the views of children and young people and that they are represented in the Welsh Government’s discussions and decisions about Wales’ future once the UK leaves the EU.
The Welsh Government is committed to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and takes seriously its duty to have due regard to the UNCRC in its decision making. Article 12 of the UNCRC specifically says children have a right to say what they think when adults are making decisions that affect them and to have their opinions taken into account.
The consultation will engage with children aged seven to 11 years in schools, with teachers/support staff present; and young people aged 11 and over through Young Wales’ network of organisations.
In addition, the consultation will involve:
- Digital and social media resources so children and young people are informed about what’s happening during the Brexit process;
- Young Wales will establish a Brexit Advisory Group of up to 12 young people, drawn from organisations across Wales for four face-to-face meetings;
- 15 young people will be supported to deliver a total of 25 workshops, each attended by up to 25 young people, engaging more than 600 children and young people.
Children and young people’s participation in the consultation will be voluntary.
The consultation will be facilitated on behalf of the Welsh Government by Children in Wales.
A report on the outcome of the consultation will be delivered to the Welsh Government in autumn 2018.
Minister for Children, Huw Irranca-Davies said:
“The majority of the adult population of the UK who voted in the EU referendum in 2016 took a monumental decision that the UK should leave the EU. As a government, we accept that decision, and are doing all we can to ensure Wales and the rest of the UK gets the very best deal from it.
“However, our children are our future, so it’s absolutely vital we ensure their views and concerns are listened to. As a government, we have led the way in ensuring children’s rights are respected and upheld. As part of that, we are committed to ensuring we uphold the right of children to say what they think when adults are making decisions that affect them, and that they have their opinions taken into account.
“Brexit will bring about some of the biggest changes our children and young people will need to face in their adult lives, so I’m very much looking forward to hearing their views and to do everything I can to ensure they are acted upon.”
Catriona Williams OBE, Chief Executive of Children in Wales said:
“Our ‘Young Wales’ programme aims to increase the participation of children and young people in influencing the development of Welsh Government policies. We know from them that they are really keen to have their views heard at this critical time in relation to negotiations over Brexit as it will be their futures which will be particularly affected.
“We, in Children in Wales, are therefore delighted that Welsh Government has listened to the young people and has granted funding for this important task which recognises the importance of implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, here in Wales.”