Child rights resources for public bodies published in Wales

Author: Children's Commissioner for Wales
Category: General measures of implementation

24th July 2017

'The Right Way: A Children's Rights Approach in Wales?' outlines a principled and practical framework for working with children, grounded in the UNCRC, to help public bodies to integrate children's rights into every aspect of decision-making, policy and practice.

Created with expert advice from the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People, it encourages public services across the country to commit to the UNCRC and to improve how they plan and deliver their services.

As in Wales, all public bodies in Scotland have a legal duty to contribute toward furthering children's rights under the 2014 Children and Young People Act. A Children's Rights Approach is consistent with these duties, and will help public bodies to meet their statutory duties.

The principles of a Children's Rights Approach are:

- Embedding children's rights - putting children's rights at the core of planning and service delivery.
- Equality and non-discrimination - ensuring that every child has an equal opportunity to be the best they can be.
- Empowering children - enhancing children's capabilities as individuals so they're better able to take advantage of rights, and engage with and hold accountable the institutions and individuals that affect their lives.
- Participation - listening to children and taking their views meaningfully into account.
- Accountability - authorities should be accountable to children for decisions and actions that affect their lives.

A Children's Rights Approach means that:

- Organisations will prioritise children's rights in their work with children and families to improve children's lives
- All children are given opportunities are given the opportunities to make the most of their talents and potential
- All children are given access to information and resources to enable them to take full advantage of their rights
- Children are provided meaningful opportunities to influence decisions about their lives
- Authorities and individuals are accountable to children for decisions, and for outcomes that affect children's lives

A Children's Rights Approach to Education in Wales

The Children's Commissioner has also published a resource specific to schools. The model set out in this guide has been developed for education settings in Wales and is applicable across the educational sector, to both statutory and non-statutory provision.

The case studies included in the guidance illustrate practice that can be implemented from Early Years to Post-16 education and reflect practice in mainstream and non-mainstream settings.

Many settings will already have procedures which are consistent with a Children's Rights Approach: often adopting the principles and practices in this guide will complement or improve what is already working.