The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has praised progress made by Wales and the UK since their last review in 2008 in implementing children’s rights.
In response to a report by the UK on the steps taken since the last review, the Committee praised Wales specifically for introducing a new domestic abuse offence, measures taken to address child sexual exploitation and abuse, the introduction of statutory defence for all potential victims of child trafficking and legislating for play.
Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children Carl Sargeant welcomed the Committee’s observations and said he is committed to improving outcomes for children and young people across Wales and doing more to give them the best possible start in life by tackling issues such as poverty, homelessness and mental health.
He added that the Welsh Government wants young people to be involved in the democratic process and supports giving the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds. This supports the recommendation made by the UN Committee to conduct consultations with children on the voting age.
Carl Sargeant said:
“I welcome the Committee’s recommendations and am grateful for this opportunity to showcase the progress we have made since 2008 in implementing children’s rights.
“Despite challenging economic circumstances, we have made significant progress in educational reform, the development of childcare and early years, providing play opportunities, tackling hate crimes and discrimination, and improving health and social care services.
“We recognise that early intervention is key to long term health and well being. A key part of my role as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children will be to ensure that our policies tackle the underlying problems which can lead to adverse childhood experiences and have a lasting effect on children’s futures.”